Opinion Number. 1083

Subject

PUBLIC SERVICE ARBITRATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN DEPARTMENT AND EMPLOYEES: WHETHER REGISTRABLE UNDER CONCILIATION AND ARBITRATION LEGISLATION

Key Legislation

COMMONWEALTH CONCILIATION AND ARBITRATION ACT 1904, Part VI; s. 80: ARBITRATION (PUBLIC SERVICE) ACT 1911: ARBITRATION (PUBLIC SERVICE) ACT 1920, s. 11

Date
Client
The Secretary, Department of Defence

The Secretary, Department of Defence, has forwarded me the following memorandum for advice:

The enclosed copy of correspondence between this office and the Public Service Arbitrator, on the subject of the completion of an agreement with respect to rates of wages and conditions of employment at the Commonwealth Government Cordite Factory, is forwarded for favour of advice.

Although Mr Hunt points out that under the provisions of the Arbitration (Public Service) Act 1920, there is no provision for the 'filing' of agreements, it seems desirable and necessary that the sanction of law should be given to agreements between the Department and the employees engaged in industries under its control.

The Act cited makes provision for registration of Public Service organisations as under the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act, and perhaps leaves untouched the provision that 'any organisation' may make an 'industrial agreement' registrable with the Industrial Registrar of the Court. Will you please advise whether this is so, and whether the procedure followed in the case of the former agreement might not be followed in this instance.

The operation of the Arbitration (Public Service) Act of 1911 is affected by section 11 of the Act of 1920 so that an organisation of employees cannot submit under the former Act a claim to the Court but is enabled to proceed by memorial under the latter Act. Pending claims, except those part heard, are transferred to the Arbitrator, and the Court is prohibited from making awards and orders under the Act of 1911.

Part VI of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904-1920 provides for the filing in the office of the Industrial Registrar of industrial agreements. I think this Part is still available for the registration of the agreement in question and for the certification thereof by the Registrar, although the powers of the Court under section 80 can no longer be exercised.

[Vol. 17,p. 371]