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Wednesday, 30 November 1983
Page: 3120

Question No. 563


Mr Simmons asked the Minister for Communications, upon notice, on 22 September 1983.

(1) Can he confirm whether Telecom Australia advised all districts on 15 November 1982 that all functional managers should be paid the same rates of pay; if so, was this to be phased in over two stages.

(2) When will the second phase for customer services and administration managers be introduced.

(3) Does the introduction of the second phase depend upon wages policy, economic conditions and performance; if so, why did these same conditions not apply to district telecommunications managers, internal and external plant managers.

(4) Is Telecom Australia prevented from introducing this second phase because of Government policy.


Mr Duffy —The answer to the honourable member's question, based on advice from the Australian Telecommunications Commission, is as follows:

(1) On 15 November 1982, in recognition of the levels of performance achieved and as part of an integrated management structure for district and functional managers, Telecom Australia did announce that, within each district, all functional managers, who were assigned the full range of functions and district wide responsibilities, would be paid the same rates with implementation being phased over two stages. There were some exceptions not relevant to the question.

(2) Implementation of phase two for customer services managers, Grades 1 and 2 and administration managers, Grades 1 and 2 is dependent upon wages policy, economic conditions and the performance of the individuals concerned.

(3) As stated above, introduction of phase two is dependent upon the factors mentioned. These factors did also apply in the case of internal and external plant managers.

Phase one resulted in salary increases of 6.8 per cent for customer services managers, Grades 1 and 2 and administration managers, Grades 1 and 2. The 6.8 per cent increase was the maximum increase given to any Grade 1 or Grade 2 designation. It should be noted that internal plant managers, Grades 1 and 2 received an increase of 0.2 per cent.

Had the salaries of customer services and administration managers, Grades 1 and 2 been aligned with their counterparts, without phasing, increases between 12 per cent and 18 per cent would have occurred.

Given the wages policy of the Government of the day and the economic circumstances then prevailing, a decision was made to phase introduction of the integrated structure.

(4) The Government firmly supports the principles of wage fixation announced by the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission on 23 September 1983. Proposals concerning the functional management group will be considered against the principles established by that Commission.