T7198 T7214 T7246 T7247 T7248
TASMANIAN INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION
Industrial Relations Act 1984
The Australian Workers' Union, Tasmania Branch
Australian Municipal, Administrative, Clerical and Services Union
Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, Tasmanian Branch
Award variation - nominated private sector awards - meal allowance - increase to reflect CPI movements - applications granted - operative ffpp 1 October 1997
REASONS FOR DECISION
These applications, which were joined at the outset, were made by The Australian Workers' Union, Tasmania Branch (AWU), the Australian Municipal, Administrative, Clerical and Services Union (AMACSU) and the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, Tasmanian Branch (SDAEA). They sought to vary the meal allowance provided in the nominated awards by increasing the allowance to reflect the upward movement in the Australian Bureau of Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the category of 'meals out and take away foods'.
The AWU, AMACSU and the SDAEA sought an increase in the meal allowance, however specified, in each of the nominated awards of 2.12 percent or 20 cents, resulting in the allowance moving from $9.45 to $9.65.
Mr Cooper, for the AWU, opened with the submission that the applications were consistent with the Wage Fixing Principles, and in particular Principle 10 - Allowances, which states:
He contended that the claims were also consistent with previous Full Bench decisions1 and he drew our attention to the decision arising out of T5763 of 1995 in which the Full Bench stated:
Mr Cooper showed, by way of exhibits, that the CPI - 'meals out and take away foods' [weighted average of eight capital cities] - had, from the end of the June quarter 1996 up to and including the June quarter 1997, increased from 117.9 to 120.4 points, an increase of 2.12 percent.
Mr Cooper said that, as the meal allowance review arising out of T6582 of 1996 resulted in the allowance moving to $9.45, a 2.12 percent increase on that amount would result in an increase of 20 cents [rounded off], bringing the allowance to $9.65.
Mr Cooper stated that the applications were consistent with the Wage Fixing Principles and the public interest requirements of s.36 of the Act.
Mr Cooper further submitted that the proposed increase be made to take effect from the first full pay period to commence on or after 1 October 1997.
Mr Paterson, for AMACSU, and Mr Griffin for the SDAEA, supported the AWU's submissions and adverted to the awards for which they had submitted applications. They also submitted that the applications were consistent with the Wage Fixing Principles of the Commission and the previous Full Bench decisions on meal allowances and their approval was in the public interest. They also requested the same date of effect for the application as the AWU had submitted.
Mr Watson, for the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI), stated that his organisation did not oppose the applications.
In respect of the operative date, Mr Watson agreed with the proposal presented by Mr Cooper; that is, it be operative from the first full pay period to commence on or after 1 October 1997, with the proviso that the decision of the Commission be handed down before that date. It was the submission of the TCCI that if the decision was not handed down before 1 October 1997 then the operative date should be the first full pay period to commence on or after the date of the decision.
In a further submission, Mr Watson said that he believed it was appropriate for the Full Bench to make a statement, for the direction of the parties, that the next increase in the meal allowance, if applied for, should be available no earlier than 12 months after any increase that may arise out of these proceedings.
Having considered that submission, and in keeping with our earlier decision2 that:
we are of the view that it is open to any registered organisation to make application to review the meal allowance contained in awards of the Commission at any time, provided such an application is consistent with the Wage Fixing Principles.
However, we strongly recommend that the review take place on an annual basis and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Consumer Price Index (CPI) - 'meals out and take away foods' - (weighted average of eight capital cities) - for the September quarter up to and including the June quarter of the following year, be continued as the base upon which applications are made.
It would be open to an applicant to seek a review of the meal allowance after the June quarter figures, contained in the previously mentioned index, are made available, and the Commission will determine the operative date of any successful application at the time, based on the merit of the submissions.
Having noted the degree of consent in relation to these applications, we approve the nominated awards (those appearing in the Appendix to this decision, together with affected clauses) being varied as requested by the applicants.
The Commissioners responsible for each of the nominated awards will issue orders in due course. The orders will take effect from the first full pay period to commence on or after the 1 October 1997.
F D Westwood
Date and place of hearing: