Page 4521 - Week 15 - Tuesday, 14 December 1993

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Tuesday, 14 December 1993


MADAM SPEAKER (Ms McRae) took the chair at 2.30 pm and read the prayer.


Government Service - Enterprise Bargaining

MRS CARNELL: Madam Speaker, my question without notice is addressed to the Chief Minister. I refer the Chief Minister to the report in the Canberra Times of last Saturday that she recommended that unions speak to her Minister for Industrial Relations on enterprise bargaining. I also refer her to an article in the same paper on the same day reporting that a spokesman for the Minister for Urban Services also advised that the Minister for Industrial Relations should handle negotiations on this important subject. I further refer the Chief Minister to comments made by Mr Berry on ABC radio this morning that a union that had written to him on enterprise bargaining had in fact written to the wrong Minister and should have written to Mr Connolly. I ask the Chief Minister: Who is your Minister for Industrial Relations? When will this outrageous buck-passing between Ministers cease? When can unions attempting to negotiate micro-economic reform with your incompetent Government get a straight answer?

MS FOLLETT: Madam Speaker, I thank Mrs Carnell for the question.

Mr Connolly: Well read, Mrs Carnell.

MS FOLLETT: Yes, well read - word perfect. Madam Speaker, I can advise, if I still need to advise, that the Minister for Industrial Relations is Mr Berry.

Mrs Carnell: He did not seem to think so this morning. He said that Mr Connolly needed to handle it.

Mr Berry: He is the Minister for buses.

MS FOLLETT: Indeed, Mr Connolly is the Minister for Urban Services and for ACTION buses. Madam Speaker, it is a fact that the enterprise bargaining arrangements in the ACT are being handled centrally. That gives Mr Berry a central role. In fact, he has met with the unions, and negotiations on enterprise bargaining are continuing. The central coordinating group and the local bargaining centres have been working very hard on how to achieve the budget savings concurrently with efficiency and productivity measures that will lead to productivity pay increases. I hope that it does not come as news to members that, in looking for pay increases, unions often put their case quite strongly; and the situation at the moment is no exception. They feel strongly about their claims for productivity pay increases, and that is reflected in a great deal of their rhetoric.

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