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Tuesday, 9 December 1986
Page: 3588

Senator ROBERTSON —Has the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations seen a report of the latest Cullen Egan and Dell survey of executive remuneration in the latest edition of Australian Business magazine? If so, what does it say about the degree of restraint being exercised by management in relation to its own wage packages?

Senator WALSH —I have seen the report and it contains some significant, but not surprising, findings about the salaries or salary increases received by some of the higher paid members of the community-often the very same people who issue sanctimonious calls to the trade union movement for wage restraint. In the year ending 30 September the Cullen Egan and Dell report shows that executive salaries increased by an average 9.2 per cent and total remuneration by 9.1 per cent-somewhat higher than the consumer price index of 8.9 per cent for the same period. Again in the same period the average weekly earnings of all persons increased by 7.6 per cent and average weekly earnings for full time adults on ordinary time basis by 8.2 per cent. Executives in general had at least a one per cent higher rate of wage increase than other wage earners.

Also worth noting is the spread of average salary increases for executives by both industry and job category. It is there we find where the really excessive salary increases have been paid. The job categories which did best were senior managers, who had an 11.8 per cent salary increase; finance and administration executives, 10.9 per cent; corporate staff, 10.4 per cent. By industries the salary price leaders were: Merchant bankers, 18 per cent increase; stockbrokers, 14.8 per cent; trading banks, 13.3 per cent; and advertising, 12 per cent-anything from 50 per cent to 100 per cent above the rate of remuneration increases received by wage earners. The executives who fared worst were found in the following sectors: Public sector, 2.9 per cent; mining, 6 per cent; and oil and gas exploration, 6.5 per cent. The last two, I suspect, reflect the depressed condition of the mining industry in general.