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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2922 ..

Australian workplace agreements

(Question No 371)

Mr Corbell asked the Chief Minister, upon notice, on 13 June 2001:

In relation to the use of Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) in the ACT Public Service:

(1) How many AWAs are in the ACT Public Service?

(2) What is the number of AWAs in each department or agency?

(3) What performance bonuses or special allowances have been provided in each AWA?

(4) What is the total cost of those bonuses?

(5) What rather particular benefits have been provided in each AV A beyond base salary?

(6) What is the total cost of those benefits?

Mr Humphries: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

AWAs have been used in a range of circumstances across the ACT Public Service to meet the requirements of specialist skill areas or more generally as an element in retention and attraction of staff. When I refer to the ACT Public Service, I am referring to staff employed under the Public Sector Management Act 1994.

Late last year, the Chief Executive of Chief Minister's Department issued an AWA framework for manager levels in the ACT Public Service. This framework recognises the market realities in providing high service standards across the ACT Public Service. It provides a consistent standard in settling remuneration, while recognising that operational requirements may require some fine-tuning at agency level by the Chief Executive.

As part of the arrangements for this framework, the Annual Report Directions for 2000-01 require that Chief Executives provide details of AWAs in their Annual Reports. This will include information on the number of staff covered by an AWA; the duration of the AWA; and the range of remuneration payable in the classifications for both collective and individual agreements.

I note that in the advice provided from the Department of Urban Services, a project completion bonus has been paid. As a form of performance bonus these payments fall outside the current AWA policy policy. However, I am sure this was based on a genuine misunderstanding and no further payments of this nature will be offered until the matter is resolved.

In providing this information, care has been taken to avoid identifying individuals. The availability of a framework for AWAs and the provision of non-identifying information provides an appropriate balance of transparency with the sound policy of protecting individual privacy.

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