Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 10 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 3159 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

These amendments to the Legislative Assembly (Members' Staff) Act mirrored amendments to the Public Sector Management Act and the Fire Brigade (Administration) Act to preserve existing review systems. However, as I made clear at the time, these were interim arrangements that would operate only until 31 December 2000.

Mr Speaker the Bill would retain the existing arrangements for review of employment decisions. This means that ACT Public Service review arrangements would apply unless individual employment agreements specified other arrangements.

New review arrangements have been proposed for the ACT Public Service which provide a system of fair and open review, including the right of review of employment-related decisions by Chief Executives, with a second tier review right on procedural grounds by the Commissioner for Public Administration.

Under this Bill, any new ACT Public Service arrangements would translate to staff of Members unless their employment agreements specified a different mechanism.

Under the proposed Public Sector Management Act review arrangements, where the original decision involved the employing Member, the Member would need to have an independent person review the decision and make recommendations to them. If staff thought that the decision of the Member was not fair, they would have a right to seek a review on procedural grounds by the Commissioner for Public Administration.

Mr Speaker, unless staff agree otherwise, the existing employment agreements would continue to apply. Most employment agreements specify a simple mechanism for the resolution of such matters, which allow staff and their employing Member to agree on an independent mediator.

Only those staff who had elected to retain links to public service review processes would have access to the ACT Public Service review arrangements-including any new arrangement that might subsequently be introduced. The Bill also offers staff the chance to choose specific review processes similar to those of the majority of Members' staff. This would operate as a variation to their employment agreement, with the agreement of their employing Member.

Mr Speaker, this Bill also preserves the reintegration assessment rights of ACT public servants who are employed in Members' offices. This is in recognition of the value of the experience gained by these staff while working in the Legislative Assembly.

Mr Speaker, this Bill will put in place reintegration arrangements that do not rely on links to repealed Commonwealth legislation. Under these amendments, reintegration assessment panels convened by the Commissioner for Public Administration would replace the role of reintegration assessment committees constituted by the Commonwealth Merit Protection Commissioner.

Mr Speaker, it is important to remember that reintegration is a public service arrangement to determine suitable placements upon return to the public service. As reintegration involves not only a right to return to the ACT Public Service, but also a right to seek an assessment for a higher level classification or salary upon return,

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .