Which is really the better deal? I understand that with Straight Pay you get more per mile but only a week unpaid vacation a year, vs. 3 weeks paid vacation with Per Diem? Is that right? What are the other pros and cons of each?
How they pay you has nothing to do with vacation time. It is a tax ploy, where they are fronting you the M&IE deduction you'll get in exchange for lowering the wages they are paying you thereby reducing the contributions made to SS & Medicare. However, that also reduces any wage-based benefits you might be eligible for...vacation pay, short & long term disability, Social Security, etc...as well as adversely affecting your eligibility for loans because of your lower wages on paper. The ONLY benefit to you as a driver is if you have a need to "hide" some of your earnings...such as if you have alimony, child support, or a judgement with wage garnishment that takes a percentage of your wages. Since per diem is considered a "reimbursed business expense", it is not used to calculate your wages.
where did you see one week of unpaid vacation. I mean, by the time I left Millis I wasn't getting paid vacation anymore but I took as much time off as I wanted. I usually took like 4-5 weeks off per year no matter how much vacation they gave me. Most of it was long weekends. Vacation pay is always Monday thru Friday.
With the "pay increase " last Jan they took away paid vacations for anyone on straight pay. Per diem still gets paid while on vaca but straight pay doesn't. As for straight vs per diem its been discussed ALOT in other Millis threads and there is some very good breakdown of the topic. Just use the search button