Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 1 Hansard (22 February) . . Page.. 190 ..
MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Education, Mr Stefaniak. I ask the Minister: Can he inform the parliament of how the revised pay offer put to the Canberra teachers this week compares to an offer, currently on the table, by the Labor Government to the teachers across the border in the State of New South Wales, where I understand a State-wide stop-work meeting by teachers is being held today?
MR STEFANIAK: I thank the member for his question. Mr Speaker, I can confirm that teachers in New South Wales are indeed holding a stop-work meeting today in support of a 12 per cent pay claim. In fact, major industrial campaigns by the Australian Education Union are under way in a number of States at the moment in support of substantial pay increases. Of course, the ACT is surrounded by New South Wales, and it is interesting to compare what is happening across the border. In response to the teachers' 12 per cent claim, the New South Wales Labor Government has offered 3 per cent.
Mr De Domenico: How much?
MR STEFANIAK: Three per cent. I will repeat that, Mr Speaker. The New South Wales teachers are demanding 12 per cent and the New South Wales Labor Government has offered 3 per cent. In fact, the Labor Premier of New South Wales, Mr Bob Carr, said today that the teachers' claim would cost something like $400m. To quote Mr Carr directly, he said, "We cannot conjure that kind of money out of midair". The position taken by the New South Wales Government - - -
Mr De Domenico: What party is he from?
MR STEFANIAK: He is from the Labor Party. It is a Labor government. The position taken by the New South Wales Government is that - - -
Mr De Domenico: What faction, though?
MR STEFANIAK: The right-wing faction, I think. Mr Speaker, the position taken by the New South Wales Government is that in order to pay for it there will have to be trade-offs by teachers. Mr Speaker, that is not a Liberal government we are talking about; it is a Labor government. A Labor government is requiring productivity improvements to fund a pay increase, just as the Federal Labor Government requires productivity improvements to fund pay increases for Commonwealth public servants. Mr Carr, a Labor Premier, is confronting the very same problem that we are confronting here in the ACT with a claim for a substantial pay increase. It is interesting to see the headlines in the papers today, Mr Speaker - in the Sydney Morning Herald, "Trade-off call in teacher pay fight" and, in the Daily Telegraph, "Teachers told to find the money".
Mr Humphries: What barbarians they are in New South Wales!