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2010 November Variation

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SALARIES AND ALLOWANCES ACT 1975
SALARIES AND ALLOWANCES TRIBUNAL

DETERMINATION VARIATION ON THE REMUNERATION OF COURT REGISTRARS

PREAMBLE

The Tribunal has today issued a report under Section 7 of the Salaries and Allowances Act 1975 to the Minister recommending two adjustments of 3.6 per cent effective from 1 November 2010 and 3.52 per cent from 1 May 2011 in the remuneration to be paid to Judges of the Supreme and District Courts, Masters of the Supreme Court, Magistrates and the Parliamentary Inspector of the Corruption and Crime Commission.

The Section 7 report is required to be laid before each House of Parliament within five sitting days of the House after its receipt by the Minister. Either House of Parliament, within 15 sitting days of that House after a copy of the report has been laid before it, may pass a resolution disapproving a recommendation made by the Tribunal.

This determination provides for the two increases of 3.6 and 3.52 per cent to flow through to the linked positions of Registrar and Deputy Registrar in both the Supreme and District Courts.

CURRENT ENQUIRY

In discharging its statutory requirements with respect to the remuneration of the Registrars and Deputy Registrars of the Courts, the Tribunal’s approach has been to:

  • advertise for public submissions;
  • write to key office holders; and
  • consider relevant labour market and economic data.

This process provides an opportunity for members of the public, the Government, the office holders themselves or any other interested party to make a submission. It also helps to inform the Tribunal of changes which might have taken place in the roles or responsibilities of the office holders over the past year and other remuneration issues.

The Registrars of the Supreme Court submitted that the 4.1 per cent increase recommended by the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal (CRT) should be passed on as well as an increase that results in the salary of a Registrar being 80 per cent of the salary of a Master of the Supreme Court, in effect a 7.9 per cent increase. Evidence of increased work load, complexity and jurisdiction was provided to support this claim.

A Deputy Registrar of the District Court submitted that there should not be a gap between the salary of a Registrar and a legally qualified Deputy Registrar because the work undertaken by the Perth-based Deputy Registrars is, with one exception, identical to that undertaken by Registrars.

CONSIDERATIONS

The claim for a work value increase by the Registrars of the Supreme Court was considered by the Tribunal. The Tribunal was satisfied that the work value increases to which the Registrars referred have been recognised by the two work value increases of 1.5 per cent of salary provided for in the Tribunal’s 2009 report and two additional work value increases of 1.5 per cent provided for in this 2010 report. However, the Tribunal did not consider there was a case to adjust the salaries of Registrars of the Supreme Court from 76 per cent of Master’s salary to 80 per cent of a Master’s salary as requested by the Registrars. In making this decision, the Tribunal took into account the current framework of judicial salaries and the framework of remuneration for senior legal officers in the Special Division of the Public Service.

A submission from a Deputy Registrar of the District Court regarding the disparity between the remuneration of a Registrar and a Deputy Registrar of that Court, raised an issue that has been the subject of submissions for many years. The current disparity between the positions has a historical basis that has arguably been eroded. The Tribunal has been advised that, while in all other respects the work of Registrars and Deputy Registrars is the same, there is one remaining distinction: the taxation of bills of costs which is undertaken largely by the Deputy Registrars.  Since 1995 when the Tribunal engaged former Industrial Relations Commissioner Gavin Fielding to report on the work of the Registrars, a Deputy Registrar has been paid 89.9 per cent of the salary of a Registrar of the District Court. Following consultation with the Chief Judge of the District Court and affected parties, the Tribunal has determined that the relativity between the salary of a Registrar and Deputy Registrar shall be reduced. Deputy Registrars of the District Court will now be paid at 97 per cent of the salary of a Registrar of the District Court.

The issue of retrospective payment was raised during the consultation process regarding the remuneration of Deputy Registrars.  In considering this matter, the Tribunal noted that over the years there had been discussions between the Court and Attorneys General regarding structural changes which might have removed the distinction between Registrars and Deputy Registrars. The Tribunal avoided taking any action which might have influenced negotiations around structural change. These and other factors have prevailed against the Tribunal making an adjustment to the relativity between the remuneration of Registrars and Deputy Registrars of the District Court. In the current inquiry of the Tribunal, a consensus of views has emerged which was not previously the case and the Tribunal considered that the adjustment in remuneration now determined should take effect from the dates specified in the following schedule.

DETERMINATION VARIATION

The determination of the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal made on 1 April 2010 under Sections 6(1)(c), (d) and (e) of the Salaries and Allowances Act 1975 (as varied from time to time) is hereby varied by a further determination, to make amendments set out below.

Insert and replace, as the case requires, in the Third Schedule the following:

COURT REGISTRARS

Pursuant to section 6(1)(d) of the Salaries and Allowances Act 1975, the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal determines the remuneration to be paid to the holders of the offices listed below.

POSITION REMUNERATION
(effective from 1 November 2010)

REMUNERATION
(effective from 1 May 2011)
Supreme Court
Principal Registrar $290,009 $300,216
Registrar $256,821 $265,861
District Court
Principal Registrar $270,092 $279,599
Registrar $253,785 $262,717
Deputy Registrar $246,171 $254,836

The remuneration is inclusive of Annual Leave Loading.

The holders of these offices have an entitlement to a motor vehicle under the conditions set out in the first Schedule, Part 5 of the determination of 1 April 2010 for holders of offices included in the Special Division of the Public Service and Prescribed Offices.

Signed at Perth this 26th day of November 2010.

W S Coleman AM C A Broadbent B J Moore
CHAIRMAN MEMBER MEMBER
SALARIES AND ALLOWANCES TRIBUNAL

Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.