Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 2646 ..
Mrs Carnell: There is nothing about teacher numbers.
MR STEFANIAK: There is nothing whatsoever about it. There are a whole lot of things open for negotiation. Mr Speaker, the Government considers agency-based pay and productivity bargaining to be the most appropriate approach to enterprise bargaining for the ACT public service. On Friday, 24 November 1995, the ACT Trades and Labour Council wrote, proposing a basis on which the unions felt discussions could best be advanced; that is, the parties will focus on the agency reform agenda, an approach which until that point they had shown only limited or no interest in. This Government is more than happy to proceed along these lines, and agencies have developed their particular reform measures for negotiation with unions, Mr Berry.
The Department of Education and Training provided a list of reform measures to be discussed with the unions. They provided that, I understand, on 29 November. It included such things as health assessment programs in schools; lengthening the end of term one school holidays and extending term four; contracts for principals similar to SES contracts; ASTI resourcing models, which means that school principals will have greater flexibility over which classroom teachers are entitled to receive additional allowances in our schools; and long service leave on double pay. Those are some of the matters that will be negotiated with the unions, Mr Berry. Of course, it may well be that some of our proposals are not able to be proceeded with, for a variety of reasons. It is a reform agenda that requires goodwill bargaining from the unions, and I am hopeful that any agreement will be negotiated on that basis. You are very premature and probably quite wrong to just snatch the comment, "Fifty teachers will be lost". A whole lot of things need negotiating, Mr Berry.
MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. With the $4.7m slash of the education budget and the recently announced 30.5 teacher cut from the secondary colleges, how can the Minister continue to claim that the Government is being generous to the education sector, and can the Minister guarantee that there will be no teacher cuts?
MR STEFANIAK: I am sure you would do all of that prior to negotiations, Wayne. There are going to be negotiations.
Mr Berry: So there will be teacher cuts?
MR STEFANIAK: Who knows, Mr Berry? There are a whole lot of things that are going to be negotiated. That is what enterprise bargaining is all about, Mr Berry. We are proposing a number of things and they will propose a number of things, so let us see. Let me answer a couple of your questions, Mr Berry. Our budget was a most generous budget - $7.77m more, plus an additional $2m. Over three years it will be an extra $20m. Mr Berry, you mentioned colleges. Go and look at your budget papers and you will see that even there there is a one per cent increase, despite all of the shock, horror things you are saying.