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Thursday, 4 October 1984
Page: 1728

(Question No. 1732)


Mr Ruddock asked the Minister for Trade, upon notice, on 6 September 1984:

(1) Has the Minister's attention been drawn to a memorandum, dated 1 June 1984, to all permanent heads, heads of statutory authorities and staff organisations from the Secretary of the Public Service Board, concerning encouragement of union membership.

(2) Was the memorandum brought to the attention of all staff in the Minister's Department and all statutory authorities reporting to the Minister; if so, how and on what dates.

(3) What additional action has been taken within the Minister's Department and statutory authorities reporting to the Minister to avoid delays in constructive action being taken to encourage union membership and on what dates; if no additional action has been taken, what are the reasons for such a decision.


Mr Lionel Bowen —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Department did not consider it necessary to draw the memorandum in question to the Minister's attention.

(2) The memorandum was circulated with the Department's Staff Bulletin of 21 August 1984.

(3) The staff Bulletin of 21 August 1984 contained the following item:

Quote. UNION MEMBERSHIP

Attached to this Bulletin is a copy of a Public Service Board Memorandum which outlines current Public Service policy on the encouragement of Union Membership.

You will note that positive guidelines are being developed by the Board in consultation with the ACTU on ways in which departments might encourage employees to join the appropriate union. In the meantime, this department is supportive of these initiatives and encourages all staff members seriously to consider the benefits of union membership. Information on the various associations can be obtained from the relevant workplace delegates. Names and contact numbers for the delegates of the various staff associations represented in the Department are: Unquote. The names and contact numbers then followed.

In addition, arrangements have been made in recent months for staff involved in recruitment to pass relevant union literature to new entrants, and workplace union representatives are able to identify persons eligible to be members of a union including new entrants. The Department has also recently re-affirmed the requirement that all induction/new entrants courses provide time for attendees to be addressed by union representatives.