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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 1 Hansard (22 February) . . Page.. 193 ..

MRS CARNELL: Mr Osborne may not be aware that most of the casual staff currently at Jindalee Nursing Home have actually taken up employment since we announced the sale, but I am very pleased to say that I understand that virtually all of those casuals who have been there for longer than that have been offered jobs by, or are picking up employment with, the new owners and that those who are not are being offered employment at Lower Jindalee.

Public Service - Enterprise Bargaining

MS McRAE: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mrs Carnell in her capacity as Chief Minister. Chief Minister, I refer to Mr Kaine's comments on ABC radio this morning. He said:

I think it's time both the Government and the unions had a close look at where they're going and what their objectives are.

He went on to say:

But the bottom line is that it's the ACT community that's at issue here. It is not a federal issue.

Further he said:

What they are going to have to do is to get down, get together, sit down over a long period of time, sort out the wheat from the grist and deal with the issues one by one until they are resolved.

Mrs Carnell, will you now take advice from your most experienced backbencher, whose opinion is well respected in the community and which incidentally is free, and sit down with the unions and negotiate in good faith?

MRS CARNELL: I am more than willing to sit down with the unions and negotiate in good faith. In fact, over the last two days we have made three enterprise-based offers to the teachers, to the TWU and to the AWU - offers that I think are very reasonable. The offer to the teachers is about $60 extra a week. We are also very happy to sit down with the Trades and Labour Council any time that they show any interest in moving just a little bit. We have moved. We have moved again in this situation. We started with an offer of 1.3 per cent per year. We moved to 4.3 per cent over 18 months. We are now back to just over 4 per cent over that period of time.

We started off with the view that all bans had to be lifted before we would negotiate. We have now said that as a sign of good faith we are willing to remove that requirement and require only six bans to be lifted. They need to be lifted. They are affecting the community really badly. In fact, Mr Speaker, this dispute has now cost the people of Canberra $1.5m. In buses alone, $870,000 has been lost to the taxpayer; tip fees, $148,000; parking inspectors, $230,000; the ban on the issuing of tickets, $80,000; motor registry, $58,000; commercial services, $56,000. Mr Speaker, I could go on.

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