Territory Stories

Questions Day 4 - Tuesday 28 October 2014



Questions Day 4 - Tuesday 28 October 2014

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Parliamentary Record 15


Questions for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016




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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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QUESTIONS Tuesday 28 October 2014 858 significant upward pressure on premium prices. We have to make a change to support TIO in the future, but, fundamentally, we must protect jobs and TIO. It must always be Territorian and we must protect flood and cyclone cover. On radio yesterday I said we are in the final stages of receiving second round bids. I have said if there is to be a change it must happen quickly to protect financial markets. I want a debate in the Chamber with all 14 members on this side; I am also happy to debate with the 11 members on the other side about how we protect these things going forward. I will be introducing a motion tomorrow for debate on Thursday around TIO; I expect all members on this side of the Chamber to debate that and put Territorians best interests first. I invite debate from the other side, rather than slanging matches. This is about putting the principles and sale criteria on TIO and debating where the money goes after a potential sale. Darwin Bus Service Workers Entitlements Ms LAWRIE to MINISTER for TRANSPORT In your media release of 6 December last year regarding the sale of the Darwin Bus Service, you said: employee entitlements are preserved I seek leave to table the media release. Leave granted. Ms LAWRIE: I am advised the new private operator is no longer paying meal breaks, rostered days off have been cut and overtime is now being averaged out weekly rather than daily. This is an example of what happens when public assets are privatised. Will you now admit that when public assets are privatised workers and their families lose out, and nothing your government says can be trusted? Mr ELFERINK: A point of order, Madam Speaker! Standing Order 112; the last line of the question offends the standing order. Madam SPEAKER: No, it is not a point of order. Minister for Transport, you have the call. ANSWER Madam Speaker, I thank the Leader of the Opposition for her uninformed question. It is so typical of the opposition these days to come in here and make these wild statements. The Transport Workers Union has met with Territory Transit and made calculations in relation to the payment of employee entitlements. These have resulted in a reduction in take home pay for some recently transferred staff. I am sure the Leader of the Opposition has spoken to the TWU in relation to this, but I will make a couple of points. Part of the transfer of business requirements national employee legislation, also known as the Fair Work Act, requires that the employment conditions of the first employer transfer across to the second employer. This is so transferring staff maintain continuity in their employment entitlements and are no worse off as a result of the business transferring between operators and employers. These entitlements, detailed in the Northern Territory Public Sector Enterprise Agreement 2013-17, provide details on the pay and conditions which apply to the majority of public servants. It is also being used by Territory Transit as the award which applies to its staff, who are now considered private sector employees. This arrangement will continue until such time as the Northern Territory Public Sector Enterprise Agreement expires in 2017 and a new agreement is negotiated by Territory Transit with its staff, or it can be ceased, with the approval of the Fair Work Commission, on application from Territory Transit. A number of issues have been discovered since we transferred the Darwin Bus Service to Territory Transit. I am assuming Territory Transit management responsible for former Darwin Bus Service staff have reviewed the NT Public Service Enterprise Agreement in detail in order to pay staff in accordance with the award. It appears these arrangements were introduced over a period of time, and these people have been overpaid, in some instances, for about 20 years. I will say that again. There have been a number of overpayments to these staff for many years. Give me Ms Lawrie: Those are meal break payments. Mr STYLES: Meal breaks were paid breaks. The enterprise agreement provisions Ms Fyles: You are talking about overtime. Ms Manison interjecting. Mr ELFERINK: A point of order, Madam Speaker! The minister is asking for an opportunity to answer the question. Constant interjections from the other side are making that difficult for him. Madam SPEAKER: It is not a point of order.

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