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Thursday, 11 October 1984
Page: 2222

(Question No. 1742)

Mr Ruddock asked the Minister for Defence, 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 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 Scholes —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) and (3) Upon receipt of the memorandum, staff of my Department took steps to prepare a draft industrial instruction setting out the policy and a series of measures designed to give effect to it. In addition, a draft brochure was prepared for issue to all employees.

The proposed drafts were given to unions for comment at the inaugural meeting of the Defence Consultative Council held on 9 August 1984.

Further discussions on the draft are scheduled for the Council's next meeting on 25 October, which will, I expect, result in mutually acceptable arrangements.

The Defence Industrial Instruction will be issued once these consultations are complete and details of implementation finalised.

Measures to be taken within the Department of Defence to encourage membership of unions include:

(a) production of the brochure outlining the Department's policy on union membership;

(b) involvement of unions in the development of material for induction courses;

(c) recognition of employees elected as workplace delegates in accordance with union rules;

(d) the issue of instructions detailing the role and rights of delegates as well as the names and work addresses of delegates;

(e) the introduction of all new employees to appropriate workplace delegates; and

(f) provision of staff lists to unions.