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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (20 October) . . Page.. 3392 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

women earned 91.5 per cent of male base award or agreement rate. Removal of skill related relativities would see this gap expanding as well.

The Chief Minister has said that she is interested in seeing an audit across government on women's issues. I understand that the Consultative Council on Women is managing that. This is an issue that should be of concern when you see really quite different treatment given to different groups of workers. It does signal alarm bells when you see that, predictably, it is part-time women workers who do not have a lot of industrial strength, although they did surprise us all by their strong response. Of course, the community support they got as well was significant.

I think what would be really good to see in this place is an acknowledgment from the Government that what the bursars were complaining about was legitimate. That has been shown by the fact the Government has finally responded by acknowledging that the imposition of school-based management on their work has indeed had an impact and has indeed required greater skills and does deserve to be remunerated. That is there. We have already got acknowledgment of that just by the events that are occurring now. (Extension of time granted) If the Government are suddenly generally concerned about this, if they had goodwill and took an ethical position on this, I believe they could find another way of ensuring that the bursars are paid what they are morally entitled to. There are other ways that they could do that within agreements, if the will was there.

I would ask the Government at this point to put forward some other proposal if they are so concerned about this process. They have acknowledged that the bursars deserve to be paid better. They have acknowledged that the work has increased. Why do we not work together on this and find another way, if this one is so worrying for the Government? The Government can easily speak to this motion again and say yes, they are happy to look at that.

There are ways that it can be done. I have talked to various people working in industrial relations who say that there can be ways within enterprise bargain agreements. There are productivity bonuses, there are allowances, there are all sorts of things. It would be quite an open process. They would just be saying, "Yes, we acknowledge that the bursars have a pretty hard time here. They were right. We will make sure that they get recompensed for that".

MR BERRY: Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to seek leave to move an amendment, but I am not able to in the normal course of events.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are not closing the debate?

MR BERRY: No, I am just seeking leave to move an amendment, although I could get one of my colleagues to do it.

Leave granted.

MR BERRY: Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I will circulate this amendment, but I will read it first so that people understand what it is all about. I move:

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