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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (20 October) . . Page.. 3348 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

of what bursars do and they will get significant improvements in their wages and working conditions. You have pushed them to the line, and in the end they had to withdraw their goodwill.

MR SPEAKER: The member's time has expired. Would you like an extension.

MR BERRY: No, thanks.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education) (11.18): Mr Speaker, what Mr Berry has put to the Assembly is quite preposterous, because he is seriously suggesting that the Assembly sanction illegal action. The department took the action it did because it had to in terms of this particular Act. As I have said before in this place, the duty statement of the bursars listed duties including the one which was initially the subject of the work ban. Now, Mr Speaker, this issue of what is called the lock out was raised for a conference before Commissioner Deegan at 11 o'clock on 26 July. That was fine, the Government would have been very happy abiding by whatever decision was made there.

It was interesting that the head office of the CPSU withdrew that particular matter from consideration, and I think one can only assume that was because the action of the department was in fact legal. I tender a letter from Steve Ramsey, the national legal industrial officer, advising the commission that it was withdrawing that action. Mr Speaker, the Act is quite clear. Mr Berry says, "It's not an offence". Mr Berry, it is not a criminal offence, but it is an offence, and it can be punishable if it goes to the Industrial Relations Court. I think that is the name of the court. The Workplace Relations Act, Mr Speaker, section 187AA, states in subsection (1):

An employer must not make a payment to an employee in relation to a period during which the employee engaged, or engages, in industrial action if: (a) the employer or employee was or is a member of an organisation during that period; -

yes, I think that applies -

(b) the employer was or is a constitutional corporation bound by an award, a certified agreement or an AWA during that period; -

that probably applies too -

(c) the industrial action was taken, or is being taken, in connection with work regulated by an award, a certified agreement or an AWA;

(d) the industrial action was taken, or is being taken, in relation to an industrial dispute;

All of those things, I think, Mr Speaker, apply. Only one of them needs to. As Mr Berry says, subsection (2) is interesting too in that it says:

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