QR driver on $210k gravy train
A QUEENSLAND Rail driver has taken home an annual pay packet of more than $210,000 after accruing 918 hours in overtime in one year.
The earnings last financial year set a new high for the state's top money-making Citytrain drivers, with the biggest earner taking $76,000 in overtime payments.
That was an increase on the top earner for 2016-17, whose annual pay packet was bumped up to $193,500 by working 952 hours overtime - more than 19 hours a week.
Overall, the top five earning drivers worked slightly less overtime last financial year, but still managed to outstrip the previous year's big earners thanks to a 3 per cent pay rise and special Commonwealth Games incentives.
As revealed by The Courier-Mail in late 2017, drivers were paid a $1250 bonus for turning up during the Commonwealth Games amid the ongoing driver shortage that forced QR to scale back services.
Figures released by the State Government in response to a Question on Notice by the State Opposition last night show the top five Citytrain drivers in 2017-18 earned between $179,700 and $210,316.
The highest earner more than doubled the base pay of $95,351 under the 2017 train crew enterprise agreement, which delivered a 12 per cent pay rise over four years.
The five cashed-up train drivers earned a combined $964,000 and worked a total of 3799 hours overtime.
That compared with a total of $936,000 and 4061 hours overtime by the top five earning drivers in 2016-17.
It shows the huge cost of the driver shortages that spawned the October 2016 train timetable collapse continue amid sluggish recruitment.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said QR was working to "increase the number of train crew to reduce the reliance on overtime". He said the average overtime hours by drivers in 2017-18 was 289 hours and total median pay for drivers was $136,737.
State Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said taxpayers continued to pay with no end in sight to the "Rail Fail".