CFI unveils employee-inspired driver compensation package

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Contract Freighters Inc. (CFI) today, Nov. 15, unveiled a new driver pay package that increases pay by $.01 per mile across the board and offers numerous other driver-requested enhancements.

Company representatives solicited driver opinions while drafting the unified compensation plan aimed at maintaining the best elements of existing CFI and Con-way Truckload offerings after Con-way’s July 2007 acquisition of CFI. The new pay package will go into effect Jan. 1.

“Our new, combined compensation package was designed from behind the wheel – not from behind the desk – to be one of the best and most competitive in the industry,” says Herb Schmidt, president of Joplin, Mo.-based CFI, a Con-way company. “We’re proud to be able to offer our drivers an improved compensation package and several other amenities despite the challenging economic conditions facing our industry.”

In addition to the pay raise, CFI says the blended pay package includes many driver favorites, including:

  • Enhanced military pay: CFI drivers called to military service in the National Guard and reserves will receive differential compensation (the difference between military pay and previous earnings) and continued full health benefits to the employee’s family throughout the deployment. A longtime element of Con-way’s benefits package, this program was a key factor in the company’s 2007 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award from the U.S. Department of Defense;
  • Weekly pay schedule: The driver pay schedule will switch from every two weeks to every week;
  • Raise in student pay: Less experienced and student drivers will have the ability to earn the compensation of experienced drivers more quickly;
  • Health savings accounts: Drivers can choose to contribute to these tax-advantaged medical savings accounts designed to cover the costs of approved medical expenses;
  • Roomier, more comfortable trucks: The company is transitioning to the Freightliner Cascadia and Kenworth T660 truck models featuring a combination of expanded and studio sleeper accommodations designed expressly for more room and improved driver comfort;
  • Increased Hazardous Materials Endorsement: Drivers certified to carry hazardous materials will be reimbursed up to 100 percent for certification costs and will receive an additional $.03 per mile when hauling placarded hazardous materials;
  • Increased stop pay: Drivers will be paid $35.00 per stop, eliminating the previous graduated system in which average per-stop pay totaled $29.00;
  • Detention pay: After three hours, drivers will receive $12.00 per hour to help alleviate the frustration of extended delays. Detention pay will be automatic and no longer will depend on customer payments received;
  • Canada routes optional: While travel into Canada previously was mandatory for some drivers, those routes now will be voluntary, and drivers who choose to go to Canada will be paid $25.00 additional pay for each loaded dispatch that crosses the U.S./Canada border (both north- and southbound). This additional pay will be expanded to include all U.S./Canadian border crossing locations; and
  • Ability to bank days: Drivers will have the opportunity to accumulate days off during extended periods on the road for later use, and those days will carry over year to year.
  • CFI officials plan to hold meetings to explain the new offerings to company drivers. “I’m grateful to the 750 drivers who helped us craft this package,” Schmidt says. “Our goal was to offer a package that was superior to the compensation package our professional drivers enjoy today, and we clearly met that goal.”