Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 19 October 2005) . . Page.. 3876 ..
MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (4.20): I have a number of figures here that I think are pertinent to this debate. They show that, rather than being something to be feared, these new reforms are actually to be welcomed. As we have heard before, the earnings of employees on Australian workplace agreements are, on average, 13 per cent higher than employees engaged under a collective agreement. That is $890.93 as opposed to $787.40. There is another figure. The weekly earnings of employees on Australian workplace agreement are, on average, 100 per cent higher than employees on awards, that is, $890.93 as opposed to $444.55.
The weekly earnings of non-managerial AWA employees are, on average, three per cent higher than those on collective agreements, that is, $744.96 per week as opposed to $720.22. Private sector AWA employees’ weekly earnings are, on average, nine per cent higher than private sector employees on collective agreements, that is, $800.73 a week as opposed to $733.50 a week. Private sector AWA employees’ weekly earnings are, on average, 81 per cent higher than private sector employees on awards, that is, $800.73 a week as opposed to $442.72.
In the public sector, AWA employees’ weekly earnings are, on average, 57 per cent higher than for public sector collective agreement employees, that is, $1,3078.47 a week as opposed to $878.50 a week. The source of that information is the ABS Employee earnings and hours survey 2004, ABS Category No 6306.0. From their introduction in 1997 to the end of September 2005, 761,291 Australian workplace agreements have been approved. In the past 12 months, 214,406 AWAs have been approved. This represents a 38 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.
Mr Mulcahy said that I was going to mention what people on AWAs actually think of them. The DEWR Report on agreement making under the Workplace Relations Act 2002-03 contains some interesting statistics. Compared with workers on collective agreements under the federal system, AWA employees are more satisfied that they are rewarded for their efforts than collective employees, 44 per cent as opposed to 29 per cent; more satisfied with the change in their pay and conditions, 38 per cent compared with 29 per cent; feel they have more influence over decisions affecting them in the workplace, 69 per cent compared with 65 per cent; more likely to say that stress in the workplace has reduced over the last two years, 19 per cent compared with 14 per cent; while collective employees are more likely to say stress has increased—49 per cent to 37 per cent. Stress is one of the big factors that have been mentioned by those opposing the Howard government reforms. Those figures seem to belie those claims. I find them very interesting.
There are some further findings in this report. It states that AWA employees are more likely to say that management does its best to get along with staff, 64 per cent compared with 34 per cent; and, finally, are more likely to feel that management gives them a say in how they do their jobs, 58 per cent compared with 35 per cent. Really, I think those figures belie all the doom and gloom put about by our colleagues opposite.
I speak now on the need for change. There are currently six different workplace relations systems in Australia and thousands of federal and state awards. I think a figure of 4,000 has been bandied about in this place. This system is a product of a compromise over many years. It creates confusion and costs for all Australian businesses and