FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, May 17, 2018 – Hamilton, ON: The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) Board of Directors decided recently to postpone the industry stakeholders meeting that was originally set for June 19th in Toronto. With the upcoming election the government now enters into “caretaker” mode. The TTSAO was advised by Ministry of Advanced Training and Skills Development (MAESD) officials they could not participate in the June 19th industry stakeholders meeting until the new government was elected and out of caretaker’s mode. Although there were over 50 stakeholders willing to participate in the meeting the Board of Directors felt it would be in the best interest of all parties to wait until MAESD could actively participate. Since the fall of 2017, the TTSAO has been corresponding and meeting with the MAESD to increase the cap that is put on tuition for commercial truck driving schools in the Province of Ontario.
The TTSAO has been supported by the Insurance industry, Carriers and industry associations such as the Private Motor Truck Council (PMTC) and the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) all who agree that the tuition cap needs to be raised. The $40.00 Cap has been in place since the fall of 2009 and continues to put tremendous financial pressure on educational facilities who offer commercial driver training. The TTSAO membered schools are a major resource and pipeline of employment to the transportation industry. TTSAO schools graduate thousands of commercial drivers annually and are a major resource to companies hiring entry level professional drivers.
PMTC President, and TTSO Board member, Mike Millian corresponded to MAESD in November of 2017 and said “do we really want to risk sending these new drivers into the industry unprepared and trained on outdated equipment and with underpaid instructors? If we do not address the $40.00 Cap, this is exactly what we are at risk of doing, as schools will be forced to close their doors or find was to cut costs to stay in business”.
Also supporting the hike in tuition is the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA). Stephen Laskowski, OTA President says “It is important that Ontario creates incentives for Second Career applicants when they select truck driver training as an occupation. The introduction of MELT, combined with a 2009 Government of Ontario decision to restrict Second Career funding for truck driver training to $40.00 per hour, there exists a significant barrier to entry for Second Career applicants into our sector.”
At previous meetings with MAESD the TTSAO outlined the increases of costs including; fuel, maintenance, insurance, wages, rent, utilities and government audits. The $40.00 Cap no longer covers the cost of Mandatory Entry Level Driver Training for Class A Drivers, imposed on Truck Training Facilities. Overall costs have gone up in some areas as high as 40%. Lisa Arseneau, Chairperson of the TTSAO Insurance Group, which is represented by most of the commercial insures responsible for writing truck insurance, has attended all meetings with MAESD on behalf of the insurance companies and has also corresponded with MAESD, “we have reviewed documentation supplied by the TTSAO which provides evidence that current fees cannot support the ongoing and rising expenses associated with training and producing quality drivers. If the cap is not addressed we expect that, over time, despite all the efforts from the truck training schools, our new drivers will not be as qualified and this will increase in the number of accidents on our roads as well as the severity of those loses”.
Ed Popkie, President of 5th Wheel Training Institute and a TTSAO board member, participated in the original meeting with MAESD and says “Since November 2009, PCC’s have had their Truck Driver programs capped at $40 per hour by Service Ontario’s Second Career Funding. The same is not true for Community College Truck Driver programs, where no Second Career hourly funding cap exists. It’s time to make funding for Second Career the same regardless of whether Truck Driver training is offered by a PCC or a Community College.”
The TTSAO looks forward to rescheduling the stakeholder’s meeting as soon as the government is out of caretaker mode and MAESD is able to attend.
For more information visit www.ttsao.com or contact:
Charlie Charalambous – Director of Communications and Public Relations – TTSAO, TTSAO Board of Director – firstname.lastname@example.org or (905) 699 – 8837
Lisa Arseneau – Commercial Producer – Staebler Insurance, Chairperson TTSAO Insurance Group, TTSAO Board of Director – email@example.com or (519) 743-5882
Mike Millian – President, Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, TTSAO Board of Director – Office: 905-827-0587, Cell: 519-932-0902 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org