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Industrial Relations Act 1984


T No 74 of 1985 IN THE MATTER OF an application by the Federated Miscellaneous Workers' Union of Australia to vary the Shipping Award
  in relation to wage rates for employees engaged on the Bruny Island Ferry


For the Federated Miscellaneous
Workers' Union of Australia
- Mr L Brown
For Transport Tasmania - Mr W J Fitzgerald
  with Mr D Keyes
21 March 1985 Hobart  
20 May 1985 Hobart  

The application before the Commission was to vary that section of the Shipping Award which relates to employees of Transport Tasmania engaged as crew of the Bruny Island Ferry.

The Federated Miscellaneous Workers' Union specifically sought to increase existing margins contained in sub-section (b)(iv) of Section 1 Clause 2, Part 1 of the Award.

The claim which was received by the Registrar on 6 March can best be demonstrated as follows:-


Margin per week



1. Senior Master 259.50 289.50
2. Master (Other) 253.10 282.70
3. Senior Engineer 256.80 286.60
4. Engineers (Other) 253.10 282.70
5. Deck Hand (required to collect
fares - bar attend)
184.30 210.70
6. Deck Hand/Linesman 171.30 196.30

The increases sought were based upon work value considerations in accordance with Principle 4 of the Principles.

Significant changes have occurred since the last award review which occurred in December 1981, and those changes may be summarised as follows:-

  1. The "Mangana" has been replaced by the "Harry O'May" on a full time basis. The latter is a much larger vessel, is more difficult to handle and has two vehicle carrying decks instead of one.

  2. The Bruny Island ferry terminal has been shifted from Barnes Bay which was sheltered to the much more exposed Roberts Point.

  3. The new vessel runs its engines continuously for each 12 hour work period and this requires greater responsibility for running maintenance.

  4. Whereas the previous service allowed six trips to be made by the "Mangana" per 12 hour work period, now there are nine trips in the same time frame, with allowance for two extra trips if necessary. This largely negates the need for overtime or call-outs to meet peak traffic demands.

  5. The trip to Roberts Point takes only 12 minutes compared to 35 minutes to the previous terminal at Barnes Bay.

  1. Previously 37 vehicles could be moved in 1 ½ hours and an additional 22 when a second vessel was used in peak periods.

    Now 150 vehicles can be transported in the same time, using one vessel and one crew.

  2. The fares collector has greater responsibility through extra cash handling and has to record ticket sales and other returns such as customer credits during the shorter crossing time.

  3. Berthing of the larger vessel which is more difficult to handle, places much greater demands upon deck hands.

Inspections were carried out on 7 May and evidence was given by the master, the engineer and the deck hand/collector.

All of the evidence placed before the Commission supports the fact that changes have occurred since December 1981 going to the nature of the work and the skill and responsibility required, as well as the conditions under which the work is performed.

I am satisfied that the changes which are evident constitute a significant net addition to work requirements and as such meet the requirements of Principle 4.

The changes effect all of the crew members and I find there is merit in the claim for increases in the margins component of the wage.

I have had regard for the requirements of public interest expressed in Section 36 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1984, and am satisfied that public interest will not be offended by properly compensating employees under present circumstances. I point out that employees, working in rotation, provide a magnificent service 365 days of the year, regardless of weather or any other conditions and they have an industrial relations record of which they are entitled to be proud.

In assessing the extent of the wage increases, I have had regard for the nature and extent of present work requirements compared to those of the past when I also carried out inspections.

Accordingly, I have decided not to grant the full extent of the claim, but to substitute the following margins for those currently applying:-



New Margin

1. Senior Master 17.00 283.20
2. Master (Other) 16.50 276.20
3. Senior Engineer 16.80 280.30
4. Engineers (Other) 16.50 276.20
5. Deck Hand (required to collect
fares - bar attend)
12.00 201.10
6. Deck Hand/Linesman 11.20 187.00

The aforementioned variations shall have effect from the beginning of the first pay to commence on or after 20 May 1985.

An order reflecting the variations will issue in due course.


A Robinson