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Wednesday, 29 June 1938


Mr MAKIN (Hindmarsh) (6:52 AM) . - I direct attention to the growing tendency in the Postmaster-General's Department to engage temporary labour instead of making permanent appointments to the Service. By adopting this policy the department avoids incurring certain obligations which it must carry in connexion with permanent officers. I have in mind particularly the unhappy situation of certain temporary linesmen in South Australia. Many of these men were promised that if they were returned soldiers who have passed the requisite examination and had two years' service they would be permanently appointed.I have been informed by the Amalgamated Postal Workers Union that of 130 men eligible for permanent appointment at the beginning of this year only twelve were appointed. Instead of fulfilling its promise to the men the department is encouraging young men to train with the object of obtaining permanent appointments as they become available. This policy must inevitably rob the men I have mentioned of any prospect of permanent appointment, although some of them have been living in expectation of such appointments for a long time. The young men begin their training when they are about eighteen years of age and look for permanent appointments upon reaching 21 years of age. The policy of the department is unfair to the older men who should be permanently appointed in pursuance of the definite promise given to them.


Mr Lane - The same policy is adopted in New South Wales.


Mr MAKIN - Honorable members should indicate in an emphatic way that the Government must honour its undertaking to the men who have given it good service in a temporary capacity and are eligible for permanent appointment. I ask that the Director-General of Posts and Telegraphs be requested to recognize the rights of these men.







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