Aboriginal health practitioner enterprise agreement negotiations

An enterprise agreement is an agreement between an employer and its employees that sets the wages and conditions of those employees.

The Northern Territory Public Sector (NTPS) Aboriginal Health Practitioners 2018 - 2022 Enterprise Agreement is due to expire on 10 August 2022.

Read the:

Bulletins

You'll find the latest bulletins to the bargaining for a new agreement below.

These bulletins are for employees engaged in the following NTPS classifications: Aboriginal health practitioners.

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The Northern Territory Public Sector Aboriginal Health Practitioner 2018 - 2022 Enterprise Agreement is due to expire on 10 August 2022, and the United Workers Union (UWU) and I have agreed to commence bargaining for a new agreement.

Initial bargaining meeting

The initial bargaining meeting is scheduled as follows:

Date: Thursday, 19 May 2022
Time: 1pm to 3pm
Location: Charles Darwin Centre, Level 10
Meeting Room A
19 Smith Street, Darwin

Bargaining representatives

The Fair Work Act 2009 imposes rights and obligations on employers, unions and employees with respect to the bargaining process.

Attached for your information is the required statutory notice of employee representational rights PDF (276.2 KB), advising employees of the right to be represented in relation to the bargaining process.

Instruments of appointment for bargaining representatives can be forwarded before the initial meeting (or at any time during the bargaining process) to enquiries.ocpe@nt.gov.au or:

Attention: Employee Relations
Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment
GPO Box 4371
Darwin NT 0801

Bargaining representatives are requested to contact my office on 8999 4282 to confirm meeting dates.

More information

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process will be posted to the OCPE website. Information on bargaining in general can be obtained at the Fair Work Commission website or you can contact the Fair Work Commission information line on 1300 799 675.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
May 2022

Enterprise agreement initial meeting

The United Workers Union and my Office have agreed to reschedule the initial bargaining meeting to:

Thursday, 26 May 2022 from 1pm to 3pm.

1st Floor
38 Woods Street
DARWIN

More information

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process will be posted to the OCPE website.  Information on bargaining in general can be obtained from the Fair Work Commission or you can contact the Fair Work Commission information line on 1300 799 675.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
May 2022

Negotiations commenced

The first negotiation meeting for a new NTPS Aboriginal Health Practitioner Enterprise Agreement was held on Thursday 26 May 2022.  I am pleased to advise this was a productive meeting which was attended by United Workers Union representatives and delegates, and representatives from the Department of Health and my Office.

I advised that I am seeking to negotiate an enterprise agreement within the Northern Territory Public Sector Bargaining Policy 2021- 2024, and outlined to the United Workers Union a proposal with a wide range of improved conditions of employment.

We will work constructively in bargaining negotiations over the coming months to finalise a proposed new agreement, and it is my intention to issue a formal offer to employees no later than 10 August 2022.

It is important you are kept informed on the progress of negotiations as these proposals relate to your employment.

Details of the proposals

The employer proposals for a new agreement are as follows:

  • A 4 year agreement with an expiry date of 10 August 2026
  • $4,000 lump sum payment will be paid after the new agreement has been approved by the Fair Work Commission; and then $2,000 12 months after the expiry of the current Agreement and annually thereafter (July 2023, 2024 and 2025)
  • Commitment to pass on improvements if there are changes to the Wages Policy 2021 – 2024
  • 3 days Christmas Closedown leave, or where AHPs are required to work or do not closedown, employees will be able to bank the equivalent of 3 working days (i.e. 22.8 hours), to be taken within the following 12 months
  • No involuntary redundancies for term of the agreement (exception will be if an employee has been surplus for 2 years)
  • No reduction in current and future entitlements during term of the new agreement, and general employment conditions won’t be varied without consultation and agreement between the parties
  • CPI increase will apply for allowances covered by Determination 1 of each year
  • War Service provisions to be improved and included in the agreement
  • The Australian First Nation’s definition of ‘kinship’ will be included in the Agreement for the purpose of providing 5 days paid leave for kinship obligations (sorry business)
  • Domestic and family violence leave extended to cover circumstances of sexual violence
  • Infectious disease leave provisions to note employees may be eligible for workers compensation entitlements in accordance with the Return to Work Act 1986
  • New provisions supporting a safe and healthy work environment (recognising rest breaks  (other than meal breaks) and remote employees and travel for work), to ensure safe work practices
  • Work life Balance provisions to provide all requests for flexible work to be considered within 21 days, and may only be refused on reasonable business grounds; and only the CEO may decline a request to work from home
  • Dispute settlement provisions to be improved by allowing disputes regarding refusals for requests for flexible work, or to extend parental leave, to be referred to arbitration
  • Improved Excess Travel time provisions to allow TOIL up to the maximum of the AHP3
  • Union Delegate leave improved by removing the existing 12 month service requirement to be eligible for paid union delegate training leave
  • Move leave related by-laws relevant to AHPs into the enterprise agreement (i.e. leave without pay, miscellaneous leave, defence service leave); and update other leave provisions in line with  by-laws/common conditions (e.g. jury service, release to attend as a witness, arbitration business)
  • Where operationally viable, and where flexitime or time off in lieu is not available, provide for up to three hours NAIDOC leave per annum to attend NAIDOC March and approved activities
  • Move Foster and Kinship Carers leave into the enterprise agreement (currently in Determination 7 of 2020)
  • Gender transition leave will be introduced to support diversity at work, providing four weeks paid leave and 12 months unpaid
  • Improved paid compassionate leave of five days for immediate family/household members (and new provision to cover stillborn child)
  • New compassionate leave entitlement of three days paid leave on the death of an employee’s extended family member (e.g. aunt/uncle/niece/nephew/first cousin)
  • New miscarriage provision to be covered under compassionate leave – three days paid leave
  • Improve existing miscellaneous leave entitlement to allow an employee to access up to one hours paid leave per annum for mental health screening/cancer screening
  • Inclusion of “flexible-lifestyle leave” (currently purchased leave) to support work life balance and improve entitlement to allow purchase of up to eight weeks leave
  • Enhance existing entitlements to support family responsibilities for an employee to have the right to return from parental leave on a part-time basis for up to six months
  • New entitlement for pre-natal leave to allow for a pregnant employee, and an employee whose partner is pregnant, access to eight hours paid leave per pregnancy for the purpose of attending pregnancy-related medical appointments
  • Paid leave of 2 days for pre-adoption interviews. Paid leave for permanent care order applications and interviews for foster and kinship carers
  • Superannuation Guarantee (SG) payments on parental leave – SG will be doubled for primary care giver; and partner leave eligibility provisions will provide SG for 12 months
  • Expanded definition of ‘continuous service’ under Parental Leave will allow employment with other NT Government agencies (e.g. NT Police / AAPA) to count for service based entitlements

Note: improvements to leave provisions will require the same notice and documentary evidence requirements

The proposals that I outlined in our meeting also included some topics that Department of Health wishes to canvass during our negotiations.  These included:

Aboriginal Health Practitioner department initiatives

  • The old Aboriginal Health Practitioner structure to be removed from the Enterprise Agreement
  • The Aboriginal Health Practitioner qualification titles to be replaced with the Australian Qualification Framework levels
  • A facilitative provision clause that provides for restrictive duty and overtime to be paid above the AHP4 salary barrier in exceptional circumstances

ahp offer

Have your say – your feedback is important

Should you wish to express a view on the proposals or make a suggestion, you can provide your feedback to me by emailing enquiries.ocpe@nt.gov.au

More information

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process will be posted to the OCPE Webpage dedicated to Aboriginal Health Practitioners Enterprise Agreement Negotiations.

Information on bargaining in general can be obtained at www.fwc.gov.au or you can contact the Fair Work Commission information line on 1300 799 675.

I am pleased to report that negotiations have been productive, with the parties meeting on a regular basis.   The current enterprise agreement expires on 10 August 2022 however all the current conditions will continue to apply until a new agreement is negotiated.

It is usual during negotiations for parties to indicate their ‘in principle’ agreement to particular claims and there are several matters where in principle agreement has been reached.

Further to this, I have agreed to the following:

  • The introduction of a professional uniform for Aboriginal Health Practitioners so they can be clearly identified in the community; and
  • An increase to the Professional Development Allowance.

The parties will continue to work constructively and I expect to be in a position to make an offer in the coming weeks.

Have your say – your feedback is important

Should you wish to express a view on the proposals or make a suggestion, you can provide your feedback to me by emailing enquiries.ocpe@nt.gov.au.

More information

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process will be posted to the OCPE Webpage dedicated to Aboriginal Health Practitioners Enterprise Agreement Negotiations.

Information on bargaining in general can be obtained at www.fwc.gov.au or you can contact the Fair Work Commission information line on 1300 799 675.

ahp offer

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
4 August 2022


Last updated: 11 May 2022

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