Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 1789 ..
MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (4.04), by leave: I move:
(1) Paragraph (1), add "Union agreement will not be required with regards to staff negotiated EBAs.".
(2) Paragraph (2), omit "requires", substitute "asks".
I think this will clarify this issue for everybody involved. Union requirement is not required with regard to staff-negotiated EBAs. That was the point that I made in my speech. Where an EBA is negotiated by staff, not by the union, why in heaven's name would the union have veto over full usage of - - -
Mr Berry: It is unnecessary.
MS CARNELL: Sorry, it is necessary.
Mr Berry: No, it is not necessary. Your original clause covers it.
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, the comments that have been made in this place have been very definitive. The position that the Government has taken has been, I think, quite definitive as well. With regard to union-negotiated EBAs, the union would continue to have veto. But we have a large number of agreements this time where it appears that the staff want to negotiate their own EBA. Where the staff want to negotiate their own EBA without the union, surely they should not have a clause in their EBA whereby somehow the union can veto the full implication of the triple R award. That is the position that has been on the table, Mr Speaker. So, with regard to staff-negotiated EBAs, union agreement would not be required. I suggest, Mr Speaker, that in paragraph (2) of the motion we delete "requires" and substitute "asks". It would read that this Assembly asks the Chief Minister to - - -
Mr Berry: No, no.
Mr Corbell: We should not have to ask you.
MS CARNELL: You watch. I do not mind anyway. It would read, "Asks the Chief Minister to implement her election commitment", and so on. I think we have made it very clear the whole way through this debate that our preferred position, quite clearly, is voluntary redundancies. Our position also is to allow our agencies to negotiate EBAs in line with the requirements of their own work force. To direct our agencies on how they should negotiate or on what they cannot negotiate on, I think, is terribly inappropriate. Mr Speaker, I think it is inappropriate for this Assembly to direct our agencies on how they negotiate in these sorts of situations, but I have said that before. Mr Speaker, in this case the Assembly certainly can "ask the Chief Minister to implement" any election promise they want. Sorry, "calls on" is a better phrase.