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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 1 Hansard (22 February) . . Page.. 184..


Public Service - Enterprise Bargaining

MR WOOD: My question is to Mrs Carnell in her capacity as Chief Minister. I refer to staff circular No. 15, which sought to clarify the offer to unions about the capacity for the Liberal Government to sack public servants. I quote from page 2 of that document:

The proposed reforms are summarised as follows:

... ... ...

reinstatement of the use of involuntary retirement provisions -

that is, sackings, and -

establish a cap of 100 on involuntary retirements.

How generous! Remember that the work force of the ACT includes a large number of teachers. Mrs Carnell, is it true that Mr Michael Moore brokered this new deal with you, and is the same Mr Moore who voted with you three years ago to prevent 80 voluntary redundancies now supporting up to 100 involuntary redundancies, that is, sackings?

MRS CARNELL: Unfortunately, Mr Wood has drawn the longest bow that I have ever seen on this one. There is no doubt that, as part of the enterprise bargaining approach that this Government has taken with the Trades and Labour Council, one of the offers we have made is a one per cent pay increase related to the full implementation of the triple R award - as, by the way, is the case in the Federal Parliament. Those opposite love to talk regularly about what happens in the Federal Parliament. The reality is that the triple R award works, as similar operations work right around this country.

What we have said is that if we can implement the triple R award under very specific conditions - all that was spelt out to the Trades and Labour Council last Friday - that would be worth an extra one per cent for all workers all the way across the ACT government service. Remember that one per cent is equal to $6m. That is what we are talking about here - not sackings but the implementation of the triple R award. The triple R award does provide for involuntary redundancies under very specific circumstances after going through all of the machinery of the Act which requires staff to look at redeployment and a number of other approaches. Yes, we want to implement the triple R award - there is no doubt about that - and, yes, we are willing to give an extra one per cent, $6m worth of pay increases, right across the ACT government service in response to that. Equally, we are willing to take that off the table and willing to take the one per cent off the table, because this is enterprise bargaining. We are willing to give one per cent for the triple R award. If the unions do not want that, that is fine; we will take it off the table, and take the one per cent off the table with it. There are a number of areas across the ACT government service where involuntary redundancies could be used, but one of those areas is certainly not full-time teachers teaching in our schools.


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