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Tuesday, 15 April 1980
Page: 1450

Senator Colston asked the Minister representing the Minister for Industrial Relations, upon notice, on 22 November 1979:

When may I expect a reply to my question without notice of 20 September 1979 in relation to deduction of union dues from the salaries of members of the Australian Public Service Association.

Senator Durack - The Minister for Industrial Relations has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

I refer Senator Colston to my personal reply to him of 23 January 1980. This reply was as follows:

I refer to a parliamentary question without notice asked by you and directed to me by Senator Durack on 20 September 1979 and your subsequent question on notice of 22 November 1979, concerning the Government's decision to discontinue deducting union dues from the salaries of members of the Australian Public Service Association (Fourth Division Officers) APSA(FDO).

Firstly, may 1 apologise for the delay in responding to this question.

I confirm that the Government is not providing an automatic payroll deduction facility in respect of the union dues of Commonwealth Public Service Act employees who are members of the Association to which you referred.

As you are aware, an industrial campaign had been waged by APSA(FDO) and the Administrative and Clerical Officers ' Association which frustrated the process of Government and severely disrupted some departmental operations. A direction by the Deputy Public Service Arbitrator to lift bans was not complied with and the unions did not heed a Government warning that deductions would cease where unions engaged in disruptive industrial action of the type then being pursued by the two associations. In such circumstances the Government was left with no choice but to take firm action.

Approaches have since been made to Government by the Council of Australian Government Employment Organisations and the ACOA seeking restoration of the deduction facility.

Following consideration of those approaches, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Public Service Matters wrote to CAGEO and ACOA on 18 October 1979 and informed those organisations that the Government had decided not to accede to those requests.

Finally I have written to the ACTU, CAGEO and CPA informing them of the Government's preparedness to take similar action in response to future strikes or disruptive industrial action in Commonwealth Government employment.

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