Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 5 Hansard (13 May) . . Page.. 1385..
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.
MS LAWDER: Minister, why, according to the AIHW, do Canberra allied health staff receive the lowest average pay of any Australian jurisdiction?
MS GALLAGHER: I will have to follow that up. I would have to take some further advice on it. We have used a process of SEAs, or special employment arrangements—and I am not sure whether they are reflected in those results—to deal with areas of workforce shortage across the allied health professions. It is my understanding that there are a couple of areas where we are probably behind New South Wales in salaries, but it would be very few. We have had to pay competitive salaries. I think our nursing workforce are now the highest paid nurses in the country, with the passing of their EBA. I know our doctors are. There have been a couple of areas in the allied health professions where the HSU is advocating for further increases. We are going through the process with them through their EBA now.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hanson.
MR HANSON: Minister, why, according to the AIHW, do Canberra Hospital's domestic staff receive on average less than the average paid in any other Australian jurisdiction?
MS GALLAGHER: I will take further advice on that, Madam Speaker. Did someone snigger over there? If you want an answer to it, I will take further advice on it. I do not have that detail before me and I would want to check what classifications are included in domestic staff before commenting further on that category.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.
MR HANSON: Minister, how do you reconcile these low salaries with your claim that the ACT is a high-cost health jurisdiction?
MS GALLAGHER: Salaries form one component. The largest salaries in the Health Directorate are not the allied health professions or the domestic staff or the lower paid staff. The nursing and medical staff form the largest component of the workforce. Our nursing staff are now the best paid in the country. Our medical staff, on average, would be amongst the highest paid in the country. That is one contributor. It is an important contributor but it is only one of a number of reasons which I did go to in last week's question time.
Education—teachers code of conduct
MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training and refers to the issue of teacher quality. Minister, what does the recently released code of conduct require of teachers, and how will this lift the bar for teaching quality in the ACT?
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