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Public service dispute



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P A R L I A M E N T OF A U S T R A L I A

HOU S E OF R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

V-,

MEDIA RELEASE

PRESS STATEMENT BY PETER SHACK, OPPOSITION SPOKESMAN ON EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS AND DAVID CONNOLLY, OPPOSITION SPOKESMAN ON PUBLIC SERVICE MATTERS

PUBLIC SERVICE DISPUTE

"The Government and t h e ACTU a re making up the r u l e s of w a g e - f i x i n g as

t h e y go a l o n g , " P e t e r S h a c k , O p p o s i t i o n Spokesman on Empl oyment and I n d u s t r i a l R e l a t i o n s , and.David C onnol l y, Oppos it io n Spokesman on P u b l i c S e r v i c e M a t t e r s , sai d today.

" Unde r what p r i n c i p l e can t h e Government p o s s i b l y t ake a pay deal back

t o the ’A r b i t r a t i o n Commission f o r r a t i f i c a t i o n ? "

"The Commission has r e j e c t e d t h e P u b l i c S e r v i c e uni ons' anomalies case once a l r e a d y . "

" P r e s e n t a t i o n o f a new anomalies case would breach the Government's own w a g e - f i x i n g g u i d e l i n e s which s t i p u l a t e t h a t t h e o n l y a n o m a l i e s c l a i m s

the Commission w i l l hear are those lodged b e f o r e 31st December, 1983.

" I f t h e p u b l i c s e r v i c e unions are granted an exemption from t h i s p a r t of

t h e w a g e - f i x i n g g u i d e l i n e s , t h e r e w i l l be a queue a m i l e l o n g o f o t h e r

u n i o n s s e e k i n g f l o w - o n s u s i n g e i t h e r t h e n e w l y - c r e a t e d a n o m a l i e s

l o o p h o l e , or r e l a t i v i t i e s claims based on new p u b l i c s e r v i c e pay r a t e s .

"The G o v e r n m e n t ' s d e c i s i o n r e w a r d s u n i on s who b l a t a n t l y d i s r e g a r d the

A r b i t r a t i o n Commission's r u l i n g s and then engage in i n d u s t r i a l w a r f a r e . "

"The a u t h o r i t y o f t h e Commission w i l l be s e r i o u s l y undermined i f the

Government leans on i t t o r a t i f y t h i s unacceptabl e agr ee me nt ."

"The p u b l i c s e r v i c e unions f a i l e d t h e i r members - p a r t i c u l a r l y those at

t h e lower end of p u b l i c s e r v i c e pay s c a l e s - by p u r s u i n g an u n t e n a b l e

8 .3 % a c r o s s - t h e - b o a r d wage r i s e . The u n i o n s ' c r e d i b i l i t y b e fo re the

Commission, now t h a t i t wants t o a r g u e an a n o m a l i e s case f o r o n l y i t s

more p o o r l y pai d members, is d i m i n i s h e d . "

" W h i l e t h e ACOA t o d a y r e c e i v e d support from many ot he r u n i o n s , none of

them a r e p r e p a r e d t o g u a r a n t e e t h a t t h e y would n o t us e new p u b l i c

s e r v i c e pay r a t e s as the basis f o r r e l a t i v i t i e s or cat ch- up c l a i m s . " .

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11 I t w o u l d b e ma dne s s t o a l l o w p u b l i c s e r v i c e wa g e r a t e s t o l e a d t h o s e i n

t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r i n t o a n o t h e r wage s p i r a l . W h i l e p u b l i c s e r v i c e j o b s

a r e s e c u r e , e m p l o y m e n t l e v e l s i n t h e p r i v a t e s e c t o r a r e a c u t e l y

s e n s i t i v e t o l a b o u r p r i c e m o v e m e n t s . T h e e c o n o m y ' s i n t e r n a t i o n a l

c o m p e t i t i v e n e s s w i l l be d e a l t a s e v e r e b l o w i f a p u b l i c s e r v i c e - l e d wage

b l o w - o u t i s a l l o w e d t o o c c u r . "

" T h e p u b l i c s e r v i c e u n i o n s mu s t now l o o k t o t h e A u g u s t / S e p t e m b e r r e v i e w o f w a g e - f i x i n g p r i n c i p l e s t o r e v i s e t h e b a s i s f o r t h e s e t t i n g o f p u b l i c

s e r v i c e p a y r a t e s .

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1 3 t h F e b r u a r y , 1 9 8 5 .