Opinion Number. 743

Subject

PUBLIC SERVICE ARBITRATION WHETHER PRESIDENT OF SENATE IS BOUND BY AWARD OF COMMONWEALTH COURT OF CONCILIATION AND ARBITRATION

Key Legislation

COMMONWEALTH PUBLIC SERVICE ACT 1902, s. 14: ARBITRATION (PUBLIC SERVICE) ACT 1911, s. 8

Date
Client
The Clerk of the Senate

The Clerk of the Senate forwards the following case for advice:

In the matter of the award of the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration in connection with officers in the Commonwealth Public Service, Clerical Division, members of the Australian Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association:

Mr A.B.C, a member of the above-named Association, was transferred from the Fifth Class of the Public Service in July of last year to a position in this Department which has been classified as in the Clerical Division, Fourth Class, with a salary of £210 per annum.

I shall be glad if you will advise me whether the award of the Court is binding upon the President of the Senate, that is, is it compulsory upon him under such award to pay the rates prescribed by the award? Mr President maintains that as he stands in the position of Commissioner for the Senate Department he should have been joined with the respondents in the above case. When the plaint was filed, viz. on 15th July 1914, Mr C. was an officer in the Clerical Division of the Public Service not connected with this Department.

Section 8 of the Arbitration (Public Service) Act 1911 provides that the Public Service Commissioner, and the Permanent Heads and Chief Officers of the several Departments of State and all persons in the Public Service of the Commonwealth shall comply with the provisions of any award or order of the Court.

The President of the Senate is not a person included in that section. Although for certain purposes under the Public Service Act the President has, in relation to the officers of the Senate, the functions of the Public Service Commissioner, he is not the Public Service Commissioner within the above section.

In my opinion, the President of the Senate is not bound by the award.

[Vol. 14, p. 440]