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Thursday, 28 September 1972
Page: 2096

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled. The humble petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia respectfully showeth:

That the recent salary offer to the Manipulative Group (typists, shorthand/typists and machinists) by the Public Service Board fails to recognise the work value of the activities carried out by this group.

That the promotion structure is far too limited and unrealistic. There is no recognition for experience, nor for the initiative and responsibility that is required in many of these positions. There is no recognition of the clerical tasks which the Position Classification Standards Manual specifies as being basic duties.

That consequently members of the Manipulative Group are considered second-rate citizens by the other Public Service groups, which is surely contrary to the fundamental principles of Democracy which Australians believe in.

That many competent secretaries are forced to leave this structure and become clerks or clerical assistants, as these women have to pay the same amount of money for goods as other people.

That it is becoming increasingly necessary to classify secretaries as clerical assistants or clerks in order to get competent staff.

That many school leavers, especially in Canberra, are unwilling to spend time and money to train for a profession as a secretary or keyboard operator when they can get easier and more highly paid positions with only the qualifications they have upon leaving school.

That there is insufficient recognition of the fact that while a typist or machinist can do clerical work, a clerk cannot perform any of the Manipulative Group's jobs without months of special training.

That in the sophisticated business world of today secretaries need to be highly trained, responsible and educated and yet the Public Service fails to recognise this.

That there are an increasing number of Graduates interested in secretarial work but at present there is no scope for them within the Public Service and therefore they are forced to seek employment in industry although their basic degree may be more oriented towards the Public Service.

That while the Public Service offers such poor remuneration for highly skilled work and no promotion opportunities there is naturally going to be high turnover of staff within this group. Your petitioners therefore most humbly pray that the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled will take immediate steps to:

1.   Have the Commonwealth Public Service Board carry out a realistic review of its wage offer to the Manipulative Group, giving proper recognition to the real work value of work performed.

2.   Have the Commonwealth Public Service Board make an early decision on the promotion structure within the Manipulative Group, with a view to a wider and more flexible promotion range which gives recognition to: the extensive training that many secretaries have undergone; the fact that there will be more and more highly trained secretaries seeking employment; the fact that secretaries are capable of doing administrative work, of using their initiative and take on responsibility, as well as doing shorthand and typing.

And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray. by Mr Enderby.

Petition received.

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