TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS
Fair Work Act 2009
VICE PRESIDENT HATCHER
s.156 - 4 yearly review of modern awards
Four yearly review of modern awards
10.00 AM, FRIDAY, 15 OCTOBER 2021
Continued from 20/11/2019
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I'll take the appearances. Mr Miller, you appear for the AMWU?
MR MILLER: Yes, that's right, your Honour, with my colleague, Ms Munoz.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Mr Duncalfe, you appear for the AWU?
MR DUNCALFE: That's correct, Vice President.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: And Mr Ridings, you appear for Babcock Mission Critical Services and CHC Helicopters?
MR RIDINGS: Yes, that's correct, your Honour.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Look, I have received the document, a very useful document which the parties have sent through. What I am going to ask parties to do is firstly you, Mr Ridings, can you just step me through the matters that you have raised in the document? Then I am going to ask either Mr Miller or Mr Duncalfe to step me through the union's matters, and then I am going to raise some matters myself with the parties. Is that appropriate?
MR RIDINGS: Yes, certainly, your Honour.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: We'll start with you, Mr Ridings.
MR RIDINGS: Thank you. Well, just working through the chart, the main body of the disclosure draft, and the only comment we had was in relation to clause 2, which is just clarifying, really, that all the terms that are used to describe the various categories are included.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes. I mean, I think we can also try to get greater consistency so that we can use helicopter air crew person as the singular, and helicopter air crew as the plural, and try to get that terminology consistent in the Award.
MR RIDINGS: In schedule E, starting with E3.3, that's just a typographical comment.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR RIDINGS: In terms of layout. E3.4 is one that the ordinary rate of pay that these employees receive includes their additional qualifications, so it's really a rewording, as suggested in the rewording down below the chart, to make sure that those particular duties-based allowances for those additional qualifications are included in the rate of pay. And why that's important is of course because of things like leave and overtime payments.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Just hold on a sec. Yes, I understand this. Yes, thank you.
MR RIDINGS: And the E.3.5 is the same comment, really. Just making sure that the ordinary weekly rate increase, that - so it's a cross-reference back to it.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR RIDINGS: E4.2, it's interesting that E3.5 includes a reference to all-purpose allowance, but then there's no all-purpose allowance mentioned. The one that was the subject of significant discussion before the bench in these proceedings in particular was the mobile intensive care allowance, which all the parties have always considered to be an all-purpose allowance. Sorry, I've lost my place in my chart here.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: That's all right. Let me just read that again.
MR RIDINGS: Yes, and then - and we made a comment on that, which I guess we'll come back to when we go through the AMWU, AWU list in terms of other all-purpose allowances, but in particular that one, we think the parties are in general agreement and this an all-purpose allowance.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
MR RIDINGS: Then the - in E.7.2, just flagging that if there are additional rates and allowances, then - sorry, E7.2 is a cross-reference error.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR RIDINGS: So this one's an important one, because in E9.1 as well, the cross-reference is to - it should be to B65, and B56.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: That was a bit of dyslexia there, but yes.
MR RIDINGS: We assumed that, but nevertheless, so - and then schedule G is the list of wage-related allowances. There will be some consequential additions that will need to be put in there arising from the final determinations.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, all right. So understand that, Mr Miller and Mr Duncalfe, none of those are disputed?
MR MILLER: That's correct, your Honour. We either don't oppose or we support each of those amendments that are proposed by Babcock and CHC, and our responses for each of those proposals on an individual basis is as recorded in that table.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Mr Miller, do you want to go through section B in the document?
MR MILLER: Sure, sorry, your Honour. Don't let me interrupt you.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, that's all right. I was going to suggest that as we go through each item, Mr Ridings, if there is an item which you identify as disagreeing with, perhaps we will hear from Mr Miller, then we will hear your response to the item.
MR RIDINGS: Yes, all right.
MR MILLER: Sure.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Is that appropriate, Mr Miller?
MR MILLER: Yes, of course. Thanks, your Honour. Well, I think the first item was in relation to clause 7.4, which is on page 10 of the draft. This is just the table of the (indistinct) provisions, and this really isn't anything substantive, but we just notice that - I think the reference in that table to clause 23.9 is dealing with the situation where an employee is recalled from annual leave, but there's still just a residual reference to pilot there.
So we would just propose that that be amended, and the reference to pilot be replaced with a reference to an employee in light of the fact that the substantive clause itself now refers to employees. So properly, that wording should probably reflect the clause.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR MILLER: I don't know, I don't think Mr Ridings probably needs to respond to that. He can jump in if he wants to, I suppose. The next one was in relation to clause 10. Look, I haven't really gone through this in any particular detail, so this, I would say, is more a general comment that this clause will probably need to be updated with all the new clauses dealing with casual employment that have been inserted into this Award as part of the recent casual terms review process, which was recently concluded.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR MILLER: I think this section dealing with casual employment is still reflective of the old provisions. In relation to clause - the next one on the table is clause 20.2, which is dealing with wage-related allowances. Just wait one moment while I bring up my reference. I think the issue here is that the process of converting wage-related allowances - I will just make a general comment, I think, about this clause, because it affects, I think, a few different specific allowances within this clause in general.
I suppose speaking broadly, the general issue is that what I assume has happened is that the process of converting wage-related allowances from a percentage of the standard rate to a monetary figure appears to have had, what I assume, are some unforeseen consequences in terms of its effect on helicopter air crew classifications, if and when this clause, wage-related allowances, applies to them.
When the AMWU submitted our draft variations to the Award back in December 2019, those proposed variations were done against what was then the Air Pilots Award 2010, and that Award at that time expressed these wage-related allowances in this equivalent clause as a percentage of the standard rate rather than as a monetary figure as they're done here.
So since that time, of course, the Pilots Award has been varied extensively as part of the finalisation of the four yearly review of modern Awards, and what I assume is one of the features of the changes arising out of that review is the conversion of wage-related allowances being expressed as a percentage of a standard rate, being changed to a monetary figure.
So when the AMWU submitted our draft, we at that time looked at those wage-related allowances and just proposed the same percentage apply to air crew, but of course that's based on the standard rate, and of course we were proposing - and I think that was accepted by everybody - that there be different definitions of the standard rate that were going to be proposed to apply to air crew and to pilots.
And indeed, those different definitions of the standard rate do apply. Or at least, that's been picked up on this draft, that proposal by the AMWU. So the effect of this is that there is a difference in the outcome in terms of the quantum of the allowances that would be different for air crew and for pilots, because even though the percentage is the same, the standard rate is different.
So you get to a different monetary amount in respect of each, if you base it on the percentage rather than a monetary amount. But that distinction - - -
THE VICE PRESIDENT: So I understand this, is this - I am just looking at your variation. So the night vision goggles allowances is the same amount?
MR MILLER: I don't think this issue affects the night vision goggles allowance so much as the night operations allowance and the overseas duty allowance. I think - I believe the night - when we submitted our draft, that was in relation to the night vision goggles allowance. That was again expressed as a percentage of the spent rate.
But I think that's been picked up on in this draft, and turned into a monetary figure that reflects the standard rate for air crew persons rather than to pilots. But the issue is in relation to the night duties allowance, which is clause 20.2C and the overseas allowance, which is 20.2D. Those allowances have been converted into monetary figures based on the standard rate for pilots rather than a standard rate for air crew.
Our submission is that that should be changed to a - in respect of those two allowances, that should be changed - there should be an additional monetary rate inserted that applies to air crew based on the same percentage, but applying to the standard rate for air crew rather than the standard rate for pilots. And we have proposed some wording to deal with that, which is I think annexure A to our little section B part.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I mean, I think this is Mr Ridings' response starting with night operations. That could result in helicopter air crew receiving a higher allowance for the same inconvenience as a pilot.
MR MILLER: Yes, it would have that effect.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I would be - this is a first - effectively, leading aside the previous coverage of the Miscellaneous Award, this is in effect the first Award for helicopter air crew. Why would we not simply adopt the allowance applicable for the same disability for pilots?
MR MILLER: Well, I suppose my response to that would be that it's a weight-related allowance. It's based on, you know, on the wage for a pilot, or an air crew person, as the case may be. It's not a disability-loaded allowance. Look, I accept it's a little anomalous, but my response would just be that the wage structures for pilots and air crew are entirely different, and the principle is the same.
It's the same - those monetary figures that are applying to those allowances, they're based and were originally expressed as a percentage. So I am not proposing to change the percentage. You know, that principle, you know, we are happy for that to stay the same. But that does have the slightly anomalous effect, I can say that it's anomalous, that there would be different rates for air crew and for pilots.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: If we go to D, overseas duty, is that something that was relevant to helicopter air crew?
MR RIDINGS: Yes, it may be, your Honour. It may be.
MR MILLER: I think that's right, and we did, I believe - I believe we had proposed an equivalent clause when we were submitting our draft Award when it was proposed to be a separate Award. So when it came to trying to come up with a proposal to insert helicopter air crew classifications into this Award, at least when I was approaching the AMWU's draft, I took the approach of trying to avoid duplication of entitlements.
So rather than just inserting the equivalent clause that had been proposed to be part of the union's separate Award at the time that was proposed to be a separate Award, if there was an equivalent clause in the Pilots Award, I just amended that clause to change the reference from pilot to employee. And as I say, at that time, that clause was just referring to employees being entitled to an allowance based on the standard rate.
So you know, no changes were needed in respect of that. But of course now, as I mentioned, you know, the language has been changed from it being an allowance based on a percentage of the standard rate to a specific monetary amount.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Mr Ridings.
MR RIDINGS: Yes. Well, I think the potential for this is a bit wider, because if we look at schedule G of the Award, G2, wage-related allowances adjusted in accordance with increase to wages based on the standard rate, the issue becomes what is struck as the standard rate.
So if we were hypothetically to accept that there may be a slightly different or a different calculation for air crew wage-related allowances than for pilots, I think that what emerges when we look at what the standard rate for an air crew person has been based on, it's based on the highest classification. Whereas for a pilot, an amount of their salary, the standard rate is pegged at the lowest rate.
That's why if we make the air crew person the standard rate for air crew, it's going to mean that all the allowances that are weight-related are going to be higher than for pilots doing the same job, notwithstanding the salary for the pilot, the actual individual pilot, is likely to be in fact higher than an air crew person.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, all right.
MR RIDINGS: If, for example, following that through, and I haven't done the numbers on this, but if the same logic were proposed and the standard rate for air crew persons was a rescue crew person, i.e., the lowest classification, the same as for the pilots, then you're likely to get a - that anomaly of an air crew person getting paid a higher allowance than a pilot on the same task would probably be reversed, and they'd end up with a lower rate.
Overall, it's probably a fairer result if somehow it's described that they get the same as the pilot for those allowances.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I understand, thank you. Next one, Mr Miller.
MR MILLER: One moment, Vice President.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: There's 20.2C, the night vision goggle allowance.
MR MILLER: Yes. Look, in relation to this, you'll see - hold on. My apologies, Vice President. I'm with you now. Look, in relation to this clause, it's 20.2C(ii), and there's a table there that lists the various rates to be paid in respect of the night vision goggle allowance, and there's two classifications that concern air crew that are expressed as being entitled to this allowance and a particular rate.
Now, we don't have any problem with any of that, per se, and indeed, this table is based on the table that we submitted. Or at least, I believe that to be the case. The issue is, I think, there are also surveillance crew classification definitions in this proposed draft Award, and my understanding is that those persons doing the work of a surveillance air crew person do use this night vision goggle technology.
Or at least, that was the evidence of the AMWU's members that were doing that surveillance crew person work. That was the case at the time that we submitted our evidentiary case back in 2017. I think my colleague, Mr Ridings, has pointed out that Babcock - that surveillance air crew people working for Babcock currently don't use that technology, so that may be the case.
But certainly I think at the time, they were using it. And so we would say that this table should just be amended to include surveillance crew classifications. And of course if they're not using the terminology, they're not going to get the allowance.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I understand. Mr Ridings.
MR RIDINGS: We agree with that principle, your Honour. The only comment I put in there is that I haven't had the opportunity to actually go back and double-check the figure that's been put in the table. But it looks right, and in principle, we agree with it.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Next one is superannuation funds.
MR MILLER: Yes, thank you, your Honour. Look, in relation to that, we would just submit that this clause should be varied to include an appropriate default on helicopter air crew. I think that Aviation Industry Superannuation Trust, I assume is, you know, traditionally the fund for pilots, which is fine. But I think we would support a variation to include an appropriate default fund for helicopter air crew. We have, I think, put in a proposed clause.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I am just looking at your clause. It should probably identify that super and Sunsuper are for helicopter air crew.
MR MILLER: I don't have a problem with that.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes. Mr Ridings.
MR RIDINGS: No objections to any of that, your Honour.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Final one, I don't think there's any opposition principle to identifying which allowances are all-purpose, but there is a disagreement about which ones actually are all-purpose allowances. Is that the position?
MR RIDINGS: Perhaps I can speak to that one.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR RIDINGS: The ones that are identified in the proposed subclause B, I think we all agree that they are all all-purpose. My problem with - - -
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Look, can I just stop you there, Mr Ridings? The night vision goggle allowance is actually in the body of the Award. It wasn't immediately clear to me that - just starting with pilots, that it is an all-purpose allowance. Can you help me with that?
MR RIDINGS: I can help you with that. I agree; I don't think it's an all-purpose allowance for pilots.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I mean - yes, all right. I mean, I am just - again, I am troubled by the notion that the allowance would be difference for helicopter air crew.
MR RIDINGS: I suppose my client's position on that is that we don't really - we don't disagree with what you're saying there, but we wouldn't oppose it if the Commission is minded to make the night vision goggles an all-purpose allowance.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: If you do have an all-purpose allowance, it would not usually be expressed with an annual amount. That is, if you wanted it as an all-purpose allowance, I don't think you'd included in the clause expressed in that way, because that's - - -
MR RIDINGS: Yes, I see what you mean.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Because that's clearly expressed (indistinct) intended to be flat annual allowance. All right.
MR RIDINGS: Yes. My problem with the way that subclause A is worded is that it's quite broad, and I think there's a the potential for ambiguity, because it says, 'Any allowance' - I am just bringing it up. 'Any allowance paid to an employee for their ordinarily rostered days.' So I can foresee a lot of arguments about which allowances are included, because ordinarily rostered days may have a number of allowances paid in association with them.
For example, if there was a night allowance for being rostered at night, then that's potentially - and I just plucked that one right off the top of my head last night, that I can foresee difficulties with a clause that was expressed to say any allowance which is paid for their ordinarily rostered days.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: So you would want any all-purpose allowance to be specified by name, as in B?
MR RIDINGS: Yes, exactly.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Mr Miller, can you identify what A is meant to encompass that's not in (indistinct)?
MR MILLER: Your Honour, I don't know that I can. I sort of just picked this draft clause up straight off I think the most recent clause that we submitted, so without really looking at this proposed subclause A in any real detail. So I don't really have a problem.
So long as, you know, we can reach an agreement on the list and be certain that that's the complete list of all-purpose allowances, I'm not going to have any problem with this subclause A coming off, or being tightened up appropriately.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, with the night vision goggles, if you look in the Award as it currently stands, it's an annual allowance. But it's an annual allowance payable to anybody who has been claiming the use of night vision goggles.
MR MILLER: Yes.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: That is, whether they're used or not. It seems to me that if it was an all-purpose allowance, you'd have to make the allowance some sort of hourly rate, wouldn't you?
MR MILLER: Yes, I think that's right. I mean, the reason - I can't recall if this is the reason why, but the reason why it might be expressed as an annual rate might be because of the nature of the way the pilots' salaries are set out in this Award as being annual salaries, whereas consistently, the proposals that the AMWU has put for setting air crew persons' wages has been based on a weekly and hourly rate.
So I assume the original night vision goggle proposal that we put in may have been expressed in a similar way, i.e., based on something that can be converted to an hourly or a weekly rate. But I qualify that by saying I can't recall either way if that's the case. I just assume that it is the case. Where that takes us, I suppose - yes, I take your point, your Honour, that if it was going to be an all-purpose allowance, it probably would need to be reworded. Perhaps it could be moved into the schedule so that there is some demarcation (indistinct) allowance.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Would it still be allowance payable to anyone who is simply trained in the allowance, or would it be payable for when you use the night vision goggles?
MR RIDINGS: If I - sorry, go ahead. Go ahead.
MR MILLER: Look, if I can put it this way, I think our intention would be to express the clause as - well, the outcome that we would be seeking is the outcome that we sought initially, and I just can't remember if that was to be applicable in circumstances where they are trained, or where they're used. I can have a look now, or I can maybe take that question on notice and get back to you, your Honour.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Mr Ridings, can you assist there?
MR RIDINGS: Yes. The use of night vision goggles, where it's required for particular employees, if they get the allowance, whether they are using night vision goggles on that particular shift or not. So it's not an allowance that's pay as you go on a day by day basis. It forms part of the employee's pay.
So it's a bit concerning to me, just thinking now, that if there's an interpretation of this clause that says if they are required to be used at all in the company, whether or not by a particular group of employees, then a person who comes to become employed as a surveillance air crewman on which there is no requirement for the use of night vision goggles will suddenly pick up this allowance by virtue of the previous operations by a different company, in a different line of work.
I think that would give us some concern. My interpretation would be that it's payable all the time, if you are proficient in the use, and the employer requires that you might use it.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, the clause does say that. But it says, 'Where an employer requires the use of night vision.' So I think that overcomes that problem. But in any event, the two companies might pay the allowance currently at all times, not just when they're used?
MR RIDINGS: Well, according to my instructions, at the moment there is no surveillance air crew in CHC.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I am just talking about anybody, not just surveillance air crew. That is, does anybody who has a night vision goggles allowance, do they get paid it all the time, or just when they use it?
MR RIDINGS: Yes. Yes, they get paid it all the time, because they are proficient in their use, and they can be called upon to use it on their contract.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, can I ask you this, Mr Miller, if you want to pursue this: That you put in a proposal to convert this to an hourly allowance.
MR MILLER: Yes, your Honour.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: And then, Mr Ridings, you can respond to that.
MR RIDINGS: Yes.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: That's all your issues, Mr Miller and Mr Duncalfe?
MR MILLER: Yes, for me, that's right, your Honour.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I just want to raise some issues, and mainly - I had hoped the AAP might have turned up, but they haven't - about the relationship between the provisions in the body of the Award and the schedule. But first of all, can I take the parties to clause 2, and the definition of home base.
MR MILLER: Yes, I'm with you, your Honour.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: That uses the word pilot. Should that say employee?
MR MILLER: I believe so.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: That is, however, the air crew have home bases, do they?
MR MILLER: Yes, that's my understanding.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: You agree with that, Mr Ridings?
MR RIDINGS: I can't see a logical argument against it, so yes. On the basis that we're aiming for as much consistency as practical.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes. Just bear with me. I'm just scrolling through this. Can you go to clause 13.6? So that training bonds.
MR MILLER: I'm there, your Honour.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Mr Ridings, have you got that?
MR RIDINGS: Yes, I've got it. Yes.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Can I just confirm that's not relevant to helicopter air crew?
MR RIDINGS: It's not in use for helicopter air crew presently. (Indistinct) provision hadn't existed. I haven't had a close look at this one, because I know that this Award and the Pilots Award was the subject of separate proceedings and an Award variation limiting the circumstances in which it can be used. I would like to look closer to that bit there. I'm not sure it's capable of being extended to air crew.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Now, clause 14, transfers. Now, I think there's also transfer provisions in the schedule. This will come to a number of matters. That is, there seems to be overlaps between matters dealt with in the body of the Award and matters dealt with in the schedule. It's not just the proposed use schedule, but other schedules.
MR RIDINGS: Yes.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I am just trying to work out clause 14, transfers. Is this meant to apply to helicopter air crew, or do we have a satisfactory provision in the schedule?
MR MILLER: Your Honour, from the AMWU's part, I think the - I would probably want to take this question on notice to give a more complete answer. But my instinct is that the provisions in the schedule would be sufficient, and it's probably difficult to contemplate a scenario where this clause that's in the body of the Award would apply over the clause that's in the schedule, because of course, the one in the schedule is going to apply, I think based on the wording in that schedule.
So it would only be somehow if the provisions relating to transfers in the schedule didn't apply, then this might apply. But logically, it's hard to see on the face of it how that scenario could ever arise. I think the answer would probably have to be that the provisions in the schedule probably are sufficient. As I say, in terms of consistency, when I submitted the AMWU's draft, that was based on a general principle of changing almost every reference from pilot to employee, just for completeness's sake, if for no other reason, but of course to include the more specific provisions relating to air crew in that schedule.
So that might be why there is some overlap. And as you have noticed, there is already some overlap between some provisions in the body of the Award, and indeed with other schedules in this Award. It's not just the schedule relating to air crew. This is probably one example of that. So to answer your question, I suspect the answer is that the provisions in the schedule are sufficient. But if I could take that question on notice, I think I would prefer that.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Mr Ridings.
MR RIDINGS: Yes. Our interpretation would be that the new schedule E has the same provision as schedule D, that it will override the Award, the body of the Award, as it has that specific provision. And certainly it refers back to the same schedule of pilots, schedule D, which additionally has that same protection. So my instinct is that what's in the schedule will override what's in the body of the Award on a number of these matters.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I mean, I would prefer, for clarity's sake, if the parties agree with - I take your point, Mr Ridings, about the overriding position, but I'd prefer that if the provision from the body of the Award have no (indistinct) air crew, we should actually say they don't apply.
MR RIDINGS: I think that would be clearer.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: If we go to hours of work in clause 15. Is any of this intended to apply to helicopter air crew, or is it covered in the schedule?
MR MILLER: Similarly, your Honour, there's a more specific provision relating to hours of work for air crew in the schedule that applies to helicopter air crew. So certainly in this case, it is very difficult to see how this would have any application, particularly given that 15.2 is based on the CASA regulations as well.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Do you agree with that, Mr Ridings?
MR RIDINGS: Yes, I do agree with that. I would be somewhat hesitant to start looking at what type of carveout schedules need to be made though, because in the aviation sector, the interaction between those schedules and how the hours of work operate is reasonably complex, and depending on what fatigue risk management systems are applied and so forth.
A helicopter air crew are still subject to fatigue risk management rules under the CASA, so 15.2C, for example, references that. I think that - - -
THE VICE PRESIDENT: We've still - in that clause, we've still got a reference to pilots there, not - - -
MR RIDINGS: Yes, that's true. Yes, that's true.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I am just trying to work out - right.
MR RIDINGS: I haven't really - I'm sorry, your Honour, I don't mean to talk over you.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, that's all right. You haven't what?
MR RIDINGS: Yes, I haven't done a cross-comparison between what's in the schedule for hours of work and what's in part 3. I basically admit that I just took that as read, because I understand now how the interrelation is worked out for pilots. I didn't really give it too much thought. It didn't seem like it was going to give either of my clients any particular drama, so I guess I didn't dissociative any deeper than that.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: The next one is - and this is probably the same question, same answer, clause 16 about rostering.
MR RIDINGS: Yes. So clause 16 is just a general rostering provisions clause, and to the extent that there is anything specific in the schedule that's different to that, then clause 16 is not going to apply to that extent. I think from our point of view, we are reasonably comfortable with that.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Mr Miller.
MR MILLER: Your Honour, I am just checking that there are more specific provisions dealing with rostering in the schedule. I actually don't know that there are, so it may be the case that clause 16 does still have some work to do for air crew in terms of - let me just bring back that clause, hold on. In terms of requiring employees to be given their rosters, not less than seven days before commencement, and covering a minimum 14 day period and the like.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: All right.
MR MILLER: Look, I am happy to have a closer look and take that on notice. I've just done a very quick flick through back to the schedule, and there doesn't seem to be an equivalent.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I will give the parties opportunity to analyse this more closely, but my general view is, I think, that if the provisions in the specific schedule are capable of operating on a standalone basis, then the provisions in the body of the Award should exclude helicopter air crew. Because I don't think parties should be expected to work out the relationship between two different Awards, and work out (indistinct).
Let's see, what's the next one? Now, when we get - the next one is 20.3A, the accommodation and meal allowances. How do they relate to the provisions in the schedule?
MR RIDINGS: The air crew schedule references those relevant provisions, the same as the pilots schedule, which is schedule D.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR RIDINGS: And schedule D provides the provision of first class accommodation and a daily travel allowance. It's a different regime for onshore and offshore.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR RIDINGS: But my assumption is that what is dealt with in the schedule operates a scheme that, as a scheme, would override those provisions and make those provisions not necessary. However, we probably should look closer at that on the same principle that you outlined a few minutes ago with the other clauses, for the purposes of clarity.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Do you want to say anything at this point, Mr Miller or Mr Duncalfe?
MR MILLER: Your Honour, I would just agree with that. I accept your point, of course, that if there is something that is in the body of the Award that is dealt with more specifically in the schedule, and that, you know, they cover precisely the same field, then the clause in the body of the Award clearly doesn't have any work to do for air crew.
And you know, properly, it should probably be made clear that that's the case, you know, to assist the usability of the Award. I would just say that - yes, I think it would be useful to have a period to look at this in greater detail. At the moment I am trying to just look between two copies of the draft on my tiny laptop. So yes, a little bit more time to have a closer look at this would be greatly appreciated.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: There may be others, but the next one, the telephone allowance at D seems to be a straight double up of what's in the schedules, doesn't it?
MR RIDINGS: Yes. Yes, and that's a problem with the Pilots Award, like quite a few problems with the Pilots Award.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: It's been - I think the Pilots Award was patched together from a few different Awards, and they've never actually sorted out internal problems. But there's no reason to extend the problems to this new sector. Clause 21, accident pay. Can I just confirm that it's agreed that that is applicable to helicopter air crew?
MR RIDINGS: Sorry, I've just had a crackle on the line, your Honour. I didn't hear which clause that was.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, clause 21, accident pay. I just want to confirm that that's regarded as application to helicopter air crew.
MR MILLER: That's certainly my understanding, your Honour.
MR RIDINGS: In terms of the new provisions, it should be, if we're going for consistency.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, all right. Well, there was - the general provisions were changed to employee, and then we've got the specific insurance amount at 21.11B. There's some consequential amendments. Everyone is happy with that?
MR RIDINGS: Yes.
MR MILLER: Yes, certainly from the AMWU's perspective.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I think that's all my matters. Sorry, there was one other one. 25.6, illness while on duty. Can you have a look at that?
MR MILLER: I'm there, your Honour.
MR RIDINGS: Sorry, I've lost my place, your Honour. What are we looking for?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: 25.6, illness while on duty.
MR RIDINGS: There's nothing in there that's inconsistent with what either of my clients would do. They wouldn't do anything differently for an air crew than a pilot in this area.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Does that mean we should extend this provision applicable to everybody, apart from aerial application operations?
MR RIDINGS: If we're going for consistency.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Right. Do you agree with that, Mr Miller?
MR MILLER: Yes. I can't see why we'd have a problem with that. That seems sensible.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, what I propose to do is firstly, I will get the transcript of this conference prepared and made available to the parties. Then I will provide the parties an opportunity to put on further - we'll call it a note or submissions or whatever. Would 14 days be sufficient to follow up on the matters in this conference that you reserve your position about?
MR RIDINGS: Sorry, go ahead, your Honour.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes. Well, I am just asking, is 14 days sufficient to follow up on any matters that I've raised in the conference?
MR RIDINGS: Yes, from our point of view.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Mr Miller.
MR MILLER: Yes, that's fine, your Honour. Can I just confirm, is that going to be 14 days from the provision of the transcript?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR MILLER: Yes, that will be suitable. Thank you.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I think the - sorry, Mr Ridings.
MR RIDINGS: Sorry to interrupt. I've just had another look at that accident insurance clause, and I would prefer to look more closely at that, 21.11B.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, you can put that in your submission.
MR RIDINGS: Yes, sir.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: The course I would propose to make, because I'd like to resolve this before Christmas, is we'll get the transcript. I will allow the parties 14 days to make any further submissions about anything raised at this conference. Once those submissions are filed, we will take those into account. The Full Bench will publish a final draft determination with one more opportunity to comment, and then we will vary the Award. Is that an appropriate course?
MR RIDINGS: Yes, sir.
MR MILLER: Yes. That's suitable to us, your Honour.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, that's the course we'll take, then. I thank the parties for their assistance during this conference and we'll now adjourn.
MR RIDINGS: Thank you, Vice President.
ADJOURNED TO A DATE TO BE FIXED [10.53 AM]