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Tuesday, 25 May 1993
Page: 1242

Senator PATTERSON (9.16 p.m.) —The Minister has not answered my question. Senator Cook said that implementation of the agreement would be revenue neutral. I see puzzled looks on the faces of some of the bureaucrats. Senator Cook said that the workplace bargaining agreement would be revenue neutral. If it is, why do we need to appropriate an additional $10.8 million to DSS?

  It would seem to me that in many other organisations the productivity gains are made first and then the pay increases are given. But it seems that in this situation it is being done back to front. Is there provision for a reduction in pay if the efficiency gains are not achieved, or is Senator Cook's claim that productivity-based wage increases will not be paid if the required productivity improvements do not occur incorrect?

  Senator Cook was saying that the process would be revenue neutral because if the productivity gains are not made then there will be no wage increase. We have got the wage increase, but we have not seen the productivity gains. What happens if we do not get the productivity gains? What will be the outcome?