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Thursday, 2 November 1967

Mr Daly asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:

1.   Did he meet with representatives of the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Federated Clerks Union on 20th September to discuss the future employment of the staff of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority?

2.   Did he in a letter of 16th October to the Federated Clerks Union promise to give an answer within a few days concerning union proposals for benefits to be given to staff who will become redundant as a result of waterside workers being permanently employed?

3.   Is it a fact that in spite of this assurance the Stevedoring Industry Authority has notified its staff which will become redundant of the rights and benefits they will receive which make no provision for the special circumstances of the case and ignores the representations made to him by the Australian Council of Trade Unions?

4.   Is severance pay now to be given to employees of the Authority who are redundant similar to that agreed to by the shipowners, and approved by his Department, for waterside workers?

5.   What steps are to be taken to give the employees of the Authority accrued superannuation benefits if they have not had 10 years membership of the Commonwealth Superannuation Fund?

6.   Are any arrangements to be made to give employees with five years service the benefit of long service leave payments which would be consistent with the arrangements agreed upon for waterside workers?

7.   Why is the Government reluctant to treat its own employees, many of whom have given long and loyal service, at least as favourably as the shipping interests are to treat redundant waterside workers?

Mr Bury - The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows:

1.   Yes.

2.   My letter indicated that the arrangements to apply to surplus staff of the Authority were before an interdepartmental committee that had been set up and that 1 hoped 'to be able to write you further on this matter quite soon'.

3.   The Authority, very properly, inquired of its staff their future employment intentions. Without that information final conclusions could not be reached as to whether any special arrangements related to the surplus staff were called for. The letter brought . to the attention of the staff the benefits to which they would be entitled if they accepted private employment with, e.g. the holding company and operational employers.

4.   The arrangements agreed in respect of waterside workers do not provide for severance pay. 5 and 6. These questions raise issues of policy which extend beyond my portfolio.

7.   The circumstances are not analogous.

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