Clerks proceedings to re-commence in commission

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Clerks proceedings to re-commence in commission

After a fortnight’s hiatus, the long running Clerks Case will resume before the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW this week with the representatives of four major employer organisations continuing their closing addresses.

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After a fortnight’s hiatus, the long running Clerks Case will resume before the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW this week with the representatives of four major employer organisations continuing their closing addresses.

Two valuable hearing dates for 20 and 21 March were cancelled because of Justice Glynn’s commitments to a matter involving a full bench of the Commission. However further hearing dates have been tentatively set for late April and the first and second weeks of May. The cancellation of these dates may delay the final decision in this most important case.

In resuming their submissions, employer representatives will argue for the retention of the Exemption provision. Over the last six years, this provision has become the most controversial aspect of the Clerks (State) Consolidated Award. The provision relieves an employer from various clauses of the award where the clerical employee is paid in excess of 15% above the highest award grade.

Historically the Clerks Union has never been comfortable with the retention of the Exemption provision. In 1978, the Union was unsuccessful in seeking the abolition of the Exemption provision when the current five level grading structure was incorporated into the award by Mr Justice Dey of the former Industrial Commission of NSW.

In that case his Honour preferred to increase the Exemption rate and stated that it would not be appropriate to delete the provision at a time when a new grading structure is being included into the award.

The Union again attempted to have the clause abolished in 1991 and was successful in first instance before Justice Glynn. However the clause was reinstated into the award as a result of an appeal by employer organisations.

As part of its current application to include a new six level classification structure into the award, the Union has again sought the deletion of the Exemption structure. However as part of their reply to the Union, employer representatives will submit that, on the logic applied by Mr Justice Dey in 1978, it is not appropriate time to delete the provision.

 

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