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Friday, 17 July 1931


Mr SCULLIN (Yarra) (Prime Minister) . - Prior to 1924 the salaries of males and females rose and fell in accordance with the variations in the cost of living, and there was no differentiation between them. From 1924 the increase due to the rise in the cost of living was £9 in the case of males and £7 in the case of females. The increases were £6 and £4 respectively in 1927 and 1930. It was felt, when the bill was before this committee, that the ratio of £6 to £4 observed when the salaries were going up ought to be retained when the salaries were coming down, but that principle disregarded the fact that up to 1924 the respective salaries had risen on the same scale. Owing to the hurry with which the calculation was made, a mistake occurred which was not discovered until after the bill had left this chamber, so that it was necessary to insert this amendment in the Senate. The following illustration will explain the position. Take the case of a male officer and a female officer, who, on the 30th June, 1924, were receiving £250 per annum. By the cost of living adjustments, the salary of the male officer was then raised by £21, making the total £271, and that of th« female officer by £15, making the salary £265. There was a difference of £6 in the cost of living adjustments. If the male rate were reduced by £34, and the female rate by £22 10s., as originally proposed, the salary of the male officer would be £237 and that of the female officer £242 10s., although both were doing the same class of work and under the same classification. Since there was a difference pf £6 in the cost of living adjustment, we should retain that difference at the present time. The object of the amendment is to avoid the dissatisfaction that would result from an inequitable adjustment.

Motion agreed to.

Clause 12- (1.) The last two preceding sections shall not apply to officers and employees to whom this section applies and the salaries of such officers and employees shall be subject to reductions as follows:-

(ii)   Where the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration has made an award prescribing the rates of pay, salary or wages payable to any class of employee specified in the award and that or any other award of that court provides for reductions in rates of pay, salary or wages based upon the index-numbers, and for a further reduction in rates of pay, salary or wages at the rate of ten per centum per annum, the salary of any employee of that class to whom the award is applicable shall be adjusted in accordance with the provisions of the award, and no further reduction of the salary of the employee shall be effected under this act except to such extent, if any, as the Minister, upon the receipt of a recommendation of the committee, directs; and

Senate's amendment.- Omit " and " at end of paragraph (ii) and add the following: - " Provided that the salary of an adult male employee, or of a married male employee who is not an adult, shall not be reduced under this sub-paragraph below the equivalent of one hundred and eightytwo pounds per annum unless the Minister so d irects ; and ".

Motion (by Mr. Scullin) proposed -

That the amendment be agreed to.







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