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Tuesday, 11 February 1986
Page: 41


The PRESIDENT —I have to inform the Senate that staff of the Parliamentary Catering Service met yesterday, 10 February 1986, at 3.00 p.m. to consider their position in relation to demands made by them on 30 October 1985 for a pay increase. The staff resolved to withdraw immediately their services until normal commencement time on the morning of Wednesday, 12 February 1986. The Australian Capital Territory organiser of the Federated Liquor and Allied Industries Employees Union has advised the Joint House Department that this strike will be followed by a series of lightning rolling stoppages in support of the members' claims for a new award which would include satisfactory pay rates and more appropriate conditions of service.

The staff of the Parliamentary Catering Service and its union had previously notified the Joint House Department of concern with the classifications and conditions of service applicable under its award. Since October 1985 the union has sought to change the basis of classifications for the catering staff. Discussions have been held between the union and the Joint House Department but a proposal has not been able to be developed that comes within the national wage case guidelines.

The Public Service Board has been informed of the current situation and its advice, and that of officers of the Presiding Officers' advisory group, has been sought in an endeavour to seek a solution. The Joint House Department has proposed discussions between itself, the staff of the Parliamentary Catering Service and the union on 12 February-tomorrow-to seek to achieve withdrawal of the threat of further disruption whilst discussions continue and a basis is developed for the ultimate resolution of the dispute.