QUEBEC CITY, Que. - Owner/operators and their clients now have a standard contract - a template of possibilities really - they can refer to when negotiating the terms of any agreement to haul for pay....
QUEBEC CITY, Que. – Owner/operators and their clients now have a standard contract – a template of possibilities really – they can refer to when negotiating the terms of any agreement to haul for pay.
Created by Quebec’s Forum of Stakeholders in the General Trucking Industry and announced by Transport Minister Serge Menard on October 29, the standard contract ensures that O/Os and their clients, whether shippers, operators or intermediaries cover all the bases, from payment per mile to fuel surcharges to holdbacks.
It is not a guarantee of any specific pay or particular conditions of work, rather, it is a guide, or checklist to make sure the parties to agreements discuss and agree on everything – dot their “Is” and cross their “Ts”; it is too late to complain about rising fuel costs, for example, after a contract has been signed.
The standard contract covers basic rates; for example, is the O/Os going to be paid by the kilometer, hour, weight or container?
The financial consideration section covers items like whether the O/Os will be paid for loading and unloading, waiting time and special transport conditions like trips over mountainous terrain.
There is a section for negotiating compensation for increases in fuel costs and a section for commercial and personal insurance and financing. Financial guarantees, such as holdbacks and advances, are also covered.
The Forum touts it as an easy-to-use, comprehensive checklist that covers all possible situations. It comes with a user’s guide, and is available from the Forum Web site (www.forum-cam.qc.ca), on CD or as a paper document.
Use of the standard contract is not mandatory.
The Forum also announced the creation of a Mediation and Arbitration Centre, set up to inexpensively and quickly settle any disputes between O/Os and their clients.
Users of the standard contract, as long as they agree to it when the negotiate the terms of doing business together, have easy access to a third party to resolve disputes. Costs are shared between the parties and decisions are rendered within a week of hearings.