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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 1722..


MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):

To assist this process, the Government has provided budget assistance to the agencies to the extent of 1.3 per cent per annum or, as Ms Tucker almost correctly said, 3.9 per cent over 21/2 years, not three years. Off-budget agencies will not be assisted in this way, however. This is consistent with the usual treatment of such agencies. Similarly, partially funded agencies or programs operating on a user-pays basis will be treated in the same manner, consistent with their normal budget arrangements.

Through the Industrial Relations Commission, award safety net pay increases are available for sections of industry where employees are not able to obtain pay increases under enterprise bargaining. Under the present national wage fixing principles, this increase is a flat amount of $8 per week. This approach is adopted by the commission to meet its statutory objectives to encourage and promote enterprise bargaining while at the same time maintaining an award safety net to underpin such bargaining. However, the award safety net increase would not be available to ACT government employees since they are clearly able to gain pay increases through enterprise bargaining, and, as I said before, not limited to that 3.9 per cent. It should be noted that the $8 is equivalent to 1.3 per cent of ordinary time earnings as published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. In other words, a 1.3 per cent per annum increase would be in keeping with a level of wage increase that might otherwise be available as an award safety net increase outside the bargaining system. In summary, Mr Speaker, the Government's proposal is not limited to a 3.9 per cent pay increase; rather, it is a minimum increase that can be negotiated. In terms of Ms Tucker's question, the answer to the first part is none.

MS TUCKER: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. With the budget you have, a fixed budget over three years, does the Government have a contingency plan if it cannot achieve this 3.9 per cent wages deal?

MR DE DOMENICO: I welcome that supplementary question. The answer is that the Government will achieve its plan.

Kaleen Youth Shelter

MR BERRY: Noting that the tender arrangements in relation to Kaleen Youth Shelter were closed in 13 days and noting that there was no evaluation, can the Minister confirm - - -

Mr De Domenico: Which Minister?

MR BERRY: Can the Minister, Mr Stefaniak, confirm that the Industrial Relations Commission found that he acted too swiftly when it ordered the transfer of the Kaleen Youth Shelter staff to be stopped for a month?

MR STEFANIAK: Can I confirm that? I do not know whether I can or not. However, the Industrial Relations Commission was keen, on advice, to see whether some agreement could be reached between the parties, and that was an agreement the union was happy to see. The bureau, which has been very reasonable throughout this entire


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