Correctional officers enterprise agreement negotiations

Bulletins

These bulletins only apply to employees covered by the Correctional Officer (NTPS) 2017 – 2021 Enterprise Agreement.

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The Correctional Officer (NTPS) 2017-2021 Enterprise Agreement is due to expire on 2 December 2021, and I have agreed with the United Workers Union to commence bargaining for a new agreement.

Initial bargaining meeting

The initial bargaining meeting is scheduled as follows:

Date: Friday 18 June 2021
Time: 1pm to 5pm
Location: Training Room, 2nd Floor, Manunda Place
38 Cavanagh 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, 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) by email to enquiries.ocpe@nt.gov.au or by mail to:

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 08 8999 4282 to confirm meeting dates.

More information

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

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment

The first negotiation meeting for a new Correctional Officer Enterprise Agreement was held on Friday, 18 June 2021. This was a productive meeting and was attended by representatives of the United Workers Union, the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice/Northern Territory Correctional Services, and my office.

We had a productive meeting with all parties listening and taking time to understand each other’s proposals and claims. I advised that I am seeking an enterprise agreement that falls within the NTPS Bargaining Policy 2021- 2024 with improved conditions of employment and some efficiency measures.

We will continue to work constructively together over the coming months to finalise a new agreement. It is my intention to negotiate all issues with the union so I can present a formal offer to employees no later than 1 December 2021.

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

Details of the proposals

Below is an outline of the employer’s proposed conditions:

  • $1000 lump sum payment per annum
  • A 4 year agreement with an expiry date of 2 December 2025
  • Establish a half day rate for Core Training Instructor Allowance
  • Establish a 10% consolidated allowance for officers regularly working Monday to Friday
  • Allow 2 days of personal leave without medical certificate (out of 5 days per annum), to attract consolidated allowance loadings - 3 to 5 days to be paid at base salary
  • Over time payments for travel time to cease (eg. officers driving the bus to and from ASCC, and for up to 45 minutes for backfilling overtime shifts)
  • Provide for one Correctional Officer First Class Suitability Assessment per annum
  • Include senior industry officer eligibility requirements from the qualifications handbook
  • Introduce an Aboriginal custodial employment stream and a casual pool of qualified correctional officers
  • Darwin Local Court to manage their own security, with court based officers relocated back to DCC
  • Move majority of leave related by-laws relevant to the NTCS into the enterprise agreement (eg. leave without pay, miscellaneous leave, jury service, release to attend as a witness, attend arbitration business and defence service leave)
  • Increase paid compassionate leave to 5 days (up from 3 days) for immediate family/household members
  • Introduce new entitlement to 3 days paid leave on the death of an employee’s extended family member (eg. aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or first cousin)
  • New miscarriage provision to be covered under compassionate leave, of 3 days paid leave
  • Inclusion of 'flexible-lifestyle leave' to support work life balance and improve entitlement to allow purchase of up to 8 weeks leave
  • Domestic and family violence leave extended to cover circumstances of sexual violence
  • 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 6 months
  • New entitlement for pre-natal leave to allow for a pregnant employee and an employee whose partner is pregnant, access to 8 hours paid leave per pregnancy for the purpose of attending pregnancy-related medical appointments
  • Paid leave for preadoption interviews and paid leave for permanent care order applications and interviews for foster and kinship carers
  • Move foster and kinship carers leave into the enterprise agreement
  • Support diversity at work by introducing a new entitlement for gender transition leave (4 weeks paid leave and 12 months unpaid)
  • Improve existing miscellaneous leave entitlement to allow an employee to access up to 2 hours paid leave per annum for mental health screening/cancer screening
  • Where operationally viable (eg. overtime and lock downs not required), and where time off in lieu is not available, discuss options for up to 3 hours NAIDOC leave per annum to attend NAIDOC march and approved activities
  • Where time off in lieu is not available, employees within 3 years of the superannuation accruing age (currently 65) will have up to 2 hours paid leave per annum to seek independent financial advice on their superannuation options
  • Include principles for a casual employees to have the right to request conversion to ongoing/fixed period employment after 12 months casual employment
  • To offset improved compassionate leave provisions, emergency leave provisions to be reduced from 3 days to 2
  • Include a definition for kinship relationships (entitlements under consideration).

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

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 correctional officer bargaining process will be posted on the OCPE website. Information on bargaining in general can be obtained on the Fair Work Commission website or you can call their information line on 1300 799 675.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment

I am pleased to report that negotiations are progressing well with representatives from my office and Department of the Attorney-General and Justice/Northern Territory Correctional Services meeting with United Workers Union and their delegates on a weekly basis.

Negotiations involve the parties working through claims, including the employer’s proposals to understand the issues and identify any cost implications or savings for NT Government.

Negotiations have been constructive with all parties actively engaging in discussions with the aim of reaching a proposed new agreement for employees to vote on.

Lump sum payments and more benefits

Bulletin 3 graphic

As previously reported I am proposing:

  • $4000 over 4 years (plus employer superannuation guarantee where applicable)
  • more benefits to employees to support work life balance and employees with caring responsibilities (eg. a range of new paid leave options)
  • moving the majority of leave related by-laws into the enterprise agreement (eg. leave without pay, miscellaneous leave, release to attend as a witness, attend arbitration business, and defence service leave).

Further details of my proposals are outlined in Correctional Officers - Bulletin 2.

I acknowledge the union claim for salary increases however, the current salary rates and term and conditions of employment, and improvements being prosed including $1000 lump sum payment per annum, are competitive to support correctional officers over the next 4 years.

Salaries and CPI

The graph below shows the percentage increases to correctional officer base salaries compared to the percentage increase to the Darwin CPI.

Since 2010, correctional officer salaries have increased by 17.9 percentage points more than the cumulative increases in the CPI over the same period. The graph shows that correctional officer salaries will be maintained for the next 4 years, and in addition employees will receive the proposed $4000 in payments (plus superannuation where applicable) during this time.

Correctional Officer salary vs Darwin CPI

Have your say – your feedback is important

The parties will continue to work constructively over the coming months to finalise a proposed new agreement. 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 correctional officer bargaining process will be posted on the OCPE website. Information on bargaining in general can be obtained on the Fair Work Commission website or you can call their information line on 1300 799 675.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
September 2021

The parties have been meeting on a weekly basis and have now worked through each of the claims and proposals put forward by the parties. The parties will continue to work through any outstanding matters that are still being considered.

In addition to my original proposal in Bulletin 2, I am pleased to report that I am offering further significant improvements to terms and conditions of service for employees.

The table below is a summary of key improvements.

Bulletin4

  • Improved condition - Wages Policy
    Should there be  a change to the Wages Policy during the term of the Agreement that provides for additional benefits above those contained in this offer (such as an increase to salaries above the value of the lump sum payment) these will be passed on through a determination.
  • New condition - Christmas closedown leave
    Employees will be entitled to 3 days paid leave (based on the ordinary weekly hours) in lieu of NTPS Christmas closedown provisions. This will need to be utilised within 12 months.
  • Improved condition -  allowances
    Continue CPI increases to existing allowances listed in Determination Number 1 of 2021 (relevant to the Agreement). The allowances will not reduce if the Darwin CPI decreases.
  • Improved condition - job security
    No involuntary redundancies for the term of the agreement (does not apply to redeployees listed on the OCPE Redeployment Database for longer than 2 years).
  • Improved condition - further improvements to leave provisions
    Parental Leave:
    • Improvements to payment of employer superannuation guarantee contributions (SG) during the first 12 months of parental leave.
    • SG paid during paid and unpaid partner leave provided the employee’s spouse is also an NTPS employee.
    • SG paid at double the legislated rate during a period of paid primary caregiver leave or special maternity leave (stillbirth).
  • Union delegate training leave:
    Remove the current 12 month service requirement to enable access to paid union delegate training earlier.
  • Improved condition - kinship obligation leave
    5 days paid leave to attend Sorry Business or related purposes and a definition of kinship to be included in the Agreement.
  • Improved condition - Dispute settling procedures
    Disputes relating to refusals for requests for flexible work or to extend parental leave will be able to be referred to arbitration (currently exempt from conciliation or arbitration).
  • Improved condition - $1000 lump sum payment
    This will be paid to employees who are on leave without pay for up to 4 weeks (in addition to employees being employed on the date the Fair Work Commission approve the enterprise agreement).
  • New condition -  Casual conversion rights
    A signpost that an employee’s rights and an employer’s obligations to offer conversion from casual employment to full-time or part-time is provided for in the NES.
  • Improved condition -  Infectious Disease leave
    Provides for where an employee suffers an injury or disease in the course of their employment, they may be eligible for workers compensation.
  • Improved condition - Safe and healthy work environment
    Provides a commitment to supporting sector-wide guidelines to ensure work, health and safety of employees and for all employees to be granted reasonable unscheduled short rest breaks during work hours to ensure safe systems of work.
  • Retained condition - Emergency leave
    Entitlement to 3 days emergency leave will be retained (original proposal was to reduce to 2 days)
  • Commitment - NTPS Aboriginal Employment and Career Development
    A sign post in the EA acknowledging the NTPS Aboriginal Employment and Career Development Strategy for 2021 – 2025 is a key policy initiative.

As a number of the improvements above have cost implications it was necessary to review my original proposal dated 21 June 2021 to identify some offsets. My improved offer is amended as follows:

  • modify paid Health Screening Leave to provide 1 hour (not 2) per year (noting this amendment is still double the existing entitlement which is 1 hour every 2 years for cancer screening); and
  • withdrawal of the Transition to Retirement proposal (2 hours/year leave). Employees may still TOIL or leave for this purpose.

Have your say – your feedback is important

The parties will continue to work constructively over the coming months to finalise a proposed new agreement.  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 Correctional Officer bargaining process will be posted to the OCPE website.  Information on bargaining in general can be obtained on the Fair Work Commission website or you can call their information line on 1300 799 675.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
October 2021

Let’s stick together and keep job security.

I am pleased to advise that on 2 December 2021, I made an offer to settle the correctional officer enterprise agreement negotiations.

We have worked hard and listened to your feedback and to the unions’ claims and issues to arrive at a balanced offer, which seeks to provide good improvements for all employees. The offer will make the proposed agreement one of the most family supportive public sector agreements in the nation and will provide employees with greater certainty regarding employment conditions during the next 4 years.

New offer

The table below summarises the details of the offer, or read the full details of the offer.

Summary of the offer

$10,000 over 4 years (plus employer superannuation guarantee):

  • $4,000 lump sum (gross) paid after the agreement is voted up.
  • $2,000 lump sum (gross) per annum payable on the nominal date of the agreement.
  • $10,000 over 4 years.
  • Counts for superannuation*

    *Employer superannuation guarantee is applicable to the lump sum payment. Due to the rules of the defined benefit schemes, employer superannuation guarantee is not applicable to the lump sum paid to NTGPASS and CSS members.

NEW Christmas closedown Leave:

  • A new entitlement providing paid Christmas closedown Leave. Employees who are required to work during the closedown will be able to bank 22.8 hours of Christmas closedown leave.

No involuntary redundancies for term of the agreement:

  • There will be no involuntary redundancies (notice of redundancy) for the term of the agreement.
  • This will not apply to an employee declared potentially surplus to requirements under section 41 of the Public Sector Employment and Management Act 1993 (PSEM) and listed on the OCPE Redeployment Database for longer than 2 years.

Commitment if changes in the wages policy:

  • Should there be a change to the Wages Policy during the term of the agreement that provides for additional benefits above those contained in this offer (such as an increase to salaries above the value of the lump sum payment) these will be passed on through a determination.

Core training allowance:

  • Introduction of a half day rate for Core Training Instructor Allowance. Where core training has been divided into sessions of half a day or less a half day core training instructor allowance will be paid instead of the full day rate.

Definitions for ongoing, fixed period and casual employment:

  • New clause to provide definitions of types of employment in the agreement to be modelled on NTPS Enterprise Award 2016.

Casual employment:

  • New clause that defines a casual employee and how a casual employee will be paid.

Employee rights and entitlements:

  • No reduction to current or future employee rights and entitlements.
  • The commissioner undertakes that for the term of the agreement, general employment conditions specified in the PSEM by-laws and determinations will not be varied without consultation and agreement with the affected parties prior to the formalisation of an amendment.

Allowances:

  • Continue Darwin CPI Increases on allowances listed in Determination Number 1 of 2021 relevant to the enterprise agreement. The allowances will not reduce if the Darwin CPI decreases.

Improvements to leave provisions:

  • Compassionate leave:
    • increased to 5 days in the case of an immediate family member.
    • includes still births.
  • Compassionate leave:
    • new provision for 3 days paid leave on the occasion of the death of an extended family member (aunt, uncle, cousin) or in the case of miscarriage.
  • Domestic and family violence leave provisions:
    • extended to include sexual violence outside the domestic setting.
  • By-law provisions (emergency Leave, blood donation leave, defence leave and leave to engage in voluntary emergency management activities) included in the agreement.
  • NAIDOC leave:
    • up to 3 hours of paid leave p.a. to attend a NAIDOC march and approved activities, where TOIL is not available.
  • Gender transition leave:
    • support for eligible employees who are transitioning their gender.
    • access up to 12 months leave, inclusive of 4 weeks paid and 48 weeks unpaid leave.
  • Health screening leave
    • improved provision.
    • 1 hour paid leave per year for the purpose of undertaking a health screening test associated with a public health screening program.
  • Improved war service leave to recognise post war injury.
  • Improved leave for voluntary emergency management activities including reasonable rest time.

NEW kinship obligation leave:

  • definition of kinship to be included in the agreement.
  • 5 days paid leave per annum to attend Sorry Business or related purposes.

Infectious diseases:

  • This new provision acknowledges that if an employee suffers an injury or a disease in the course of their employment they may be eligible for workers compensation entitlements in accordance with the Return to Work Act 1986.

Improvements for parents:

  • Builds on current generous paid parental leave provisions (14 weeks after 12 months service, 18 weeks after 5 years services).
  • Expanded definition of ‘continuous service’ under parental leave.
  • Improvements to payment of employer superannuation guarantee contributions (SG) during the first 12 months of parental leave:
    1. SG paid during paid and unpaid partner leave provided the employee’s spouse is also an NTPS employee.
    2. SG paid at double the legislated rate during a period of paid primary caregiver leave or special maternity leave (stillbirth).
  • New pre-natal leave provision:
    • up to 8 hours leave for pregnancy related medical appointments.
  • Improved provision for employees returning from parental leave:
    • right to return on a part-time basis for at least 6 months, where the employee so choses (replacing ‘right to request’).
  • Foster and kinship carer leave:
    • improved to provide 2 days paid leave to attend permanent care order interviews.
  • Pre-adoption leave:
    • improved to provide paid leave to attend interviews or examinations required in order to obtain approval for the employee’s adoption of a child.

Incorporate PSEM by-law leave entitlements in the agreement:

  • The following by-law entitlements will be incorporated into the agreement:
    • defence leave
    • emergency leave
    • leave without pay
    • release to attend as a witness
    • miscellaneous leave.

      There will be a new sub-clause that states PSEM by-laws where relevant apply to employees covered by this agreement.

Dispute settling procedures:

  • Removal of the current exemptions regarding refusals for flexible work or to extend parental leave.

Union delegate training leave:

  • The existing 12 month service requirement to be eligible for paid union delegate training leave would be removed.

Flexible work improvements:

  • Ability to purchase up to 8 weeks additional leave per year (currently 6 weeks) under rebranded flexible lifestyle leave.
  • All requests for flexible work, regardless of the circumstances, will require a response from the CEO (or delegate) within 21 days and may only be refused on reasonable business grounds.

Recreation leave arrangements and rostering:

  • The restriction that the recreation leave roster cannot be cancelled within 84 days of the recreation leave occurring has been removed. The clause has reverted back to the recreation leave roster for the next calendar year to be drawn up in consultation with recognised union delegates and posted by the end of September each year.

Safe staffing model:

  • The operational agreement clause will be replaced with a safe staffing model clause ensuring there will be minimum sae staffing levels for the Darwin and Alice Springs correctional centres, and the Barkly and Datjala work camps.

Aboriginal recruitment, training and career progression:

  • Acknowledges the NTPS Aboriginal Employment and Career Development Strategy for 2021 – 2025 as a key policy initiative.

Appropriate workplace behaviour:

  • Improved clause re-named safe and health work environment and provides a commitment to supporting sector-wide guidelines to ensure work health and safety of employees.

Integrity of payments:

  • New clause informs employees about the legal requirements under the Financial Management Act 1995 on the occasion they receive an overpayment or underpayment.

Superannuation:

  • Clause advising that employer superannuation guarantee will be paid in accordance with federal legislation.

Review community language allowance:

  • An NTPS review of community language allowance (Determination Number 6 of 2013) will occur during the term of the agreement.

NTCS Commitments:

  • The current commitments will continue to apply:
    • gym membership
    • Alice Springs transport service
    • spoilt meal orders
    • attendance in court as a witness
    • overtime for travel time.

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 bargaining updates will be posted on the OCPE website.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
December 2021

The Australian Electoral Commission has issued the important notice PDF (81.0 KB) to correctional officers who are members of United Workers Union (UWU), who are eligible to vote in a protected action ballot.

The information includes details on eligibility to vote, the ballot timetable, and questions to be put to relevant employees.

Only UWU members will receive ballots, and if the ballot is successful, only members of UWU can take the protected industrial action proposed by their union. Employees who are not UWU members cannot participate in taking protected industrial action.

Fair Work Act requirements

Employees should note that in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act), employers may provide written notice to employees stating that, because of partial work bans, the employee’s payments will be reduced by a proportion as specified in the notice.

More information

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process are posted on the OCPE website. Further information on bargaining and the Act can be obtained on the Fair Work Commission website or you can call their information line on 1300 799 675.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
22 December 2021

The Fair Work Commission have made an order pursuant to section 443 of the Fair Work Act 2009 for a protected action ballot to be held for employees covered by the Correctional Officer (NTPS) 2017 – 2021 Enterprise Agreement.

UWU members will receive ballots. If the ballot is successful, members of UWU can take the protected industrial action proposed by their union. Employees who are not UWU members cannot participate in protected industrial action.

Fair Work Act requirements

In accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009, the employer is legally required to deduct payment to a union member who engages in protected industrial action, for the total duration of the industrial action taken. In relation to partial work bans (eg. action that affects a particular activity or part of the day, such as conducting an escort), a reduction to salary will be calculated in accordance with the Act, noting a bulletin will be issued advising of the proportion of pay to be deducted.

More information

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process are posted on the OCPE website. Further information on bargaining and the Act can be obtained on the Fair Work Commission website or you can call their information line on 1300 799 675.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
March 2022

United Workers Union have provided me with a notice that protected industrial action PDF (142.0 KB) will commence on Tuesday 5 April 2022. The notice contains the protected actions being taken.

Employees should note it is unlawful for Correctional Officers who are not members of UWU to participate in protected industrial action.

Notice of reduction in wages

I have issued a formal notice advising of the reduction in wages PDF (955.6 KB) that will be made to employees participating in the protected industrial action. The reduction in wages have been calculated in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act), and are set out in the notice.

Unless you notify management of your non-participation of the protected industrial actions, you may have your pay reduced in accordance with the notice of reduction in wages in response to industrial action.

Notification of non-participation in protected industrial action

Those employees who are not union members or not participating in industrial action, should advise if they are not participating in any action, or advise which protected industrial actions they won’t be participating in. This will ensure that your pay will not be reduced.

Employees will be reminded at muster to email their Deputy Superintendent if they are not participating in the protected industrial action.

Employees (union members or not) who are not participating in the protected industrial action should confirm by email to the following Deputy Superintendents:

Employees not participating in the protected industrial action

Employees who are not participating in the protected industrial action may be required to perform duties in areas being impacted by the action, and may also be required to perform overtime.

Employees who choose not to participate in industrial action will be supported. Any action taken against officers who chose not to participate is serious and likely to constitute a breach of the FWA, breach of the Code of Conduct and/or discipline under the PSEMA.

Employees who witness or are subject to such action must report this immediately to your general manager.

Chief Correctional Officers

Employees performing duties of Chief Correctional Officers (CCOs), either as their nominal position or on temporary promotion, are covered by the Northern Territory Public Sector 2021-2025 Enterprise Agreement and are not eligible to participate in the protected industrial action.

Important information for employees and members considering taking protected industrial action

While I respect the right of employees to take protected industrial action, I remind employees who are considering taking protected industrial action to be aware of the following:

  • Partaking in protected industrial action is voluntary. Members eligible to take action are not required to participate.
  • Only employees who are members of UWU (who were eligible to vote) are eligible to participate in protected industrial action.
  • Only actions that UWU notify me of may be taken as protected industrial action. Taking other action that is not notified will be unprotected.
  • Deductions from salary will be required from union members who engage in work stoppages, for the total duration of stoppage; and in relation to partial work bans, a reduction in payment will be calculated in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act).
  • Non-members who participate in any industrial action will be considered to be taking unprotected industrial action and, in accordance with the Act, I am required to deduct a minimum of 4 hours salary for any unprotected industrial action.

Should I be notified that protected industrial action is to be taken, depending on the type of action notified of, further bulletins will be issued notifying employees of deductions from salary and actions that I may be required to take as the employer.

More information about the bargaining process

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process are posted to the OCPE website. Further information on bargaining and the Act 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
4 April 2022

Protected industrial action is a valid part of the bargaining process. I respect the right of employees to take protected industrial action. I also welcome the parties working towards getting agreement for a new enterprise agreement through using good faith bargaining.

No reduction in wages for selected bans

After further information came to hand from the commissioner NT correctional services, I have reviewed our previous notice and wish to advise that correctional officers will not be deducted wages for those ban actions outlined in the notice of protected industrial action PDF (955.6 KB) dated 4 April 2022.

The agency has advised that where officers participating in the protected industrial action refuse to work in areas where there are no CCTV cameras or cameras are not operational, the officers will be re-tasked with alternate duties within the correctional establishments to ensure the ongoing operations of the facilities.

Safety is important

Safety for both workers at correctional facilities and inmates is important. Where there is a safety issue it should be raised with supervisors as soon as possible so it can be assessed and any risk mitigated. Where possible, the agency will work with officers to implement suitable, safe measures to maintain effective operations during the protected industrial action.

Employees not participating in the protected industrial action

Employees are still required to notify of non participation so the agency can plan for alternate arrangements necessary during this period. This can be done by advising the supervisor or line manager.

Employees not participating in the protected industrial action may be required to perform duties in areas being impacted by the action, and may also be requested to perform overtime.

Just as eligible employees who are members of the union have a right to take protected action, employees have a right to not participate. In both situations there may be penalties if action is taken against an employee who chooses to participate or if action is taken against an employee who chooses to not participate. If you have any concerns these must be immediately reported to your general manager.

Chief correctional officers

Employees performing duties of chief correctional officers (CCOs) and above, either as their nominal position or on temporary promotion, are covered by the Northern Territory Public Sector 2021-2025 Enterprise Agreement and are not eligible to participate in the protected industrial action.

As required, CCOs and above maybe re-tasked to perform alternate duties during this period.

Important Information for employees and members considering taking protected industrial action

I remind employees who are considering taking protected industrial action to be aware of the following:

  • Partaking in protected industrial action is voluntary. Members eligible to take action are not required to participate.
  • Only employees who are members of UWU (who were eligible to vote) are eligible to participate in protected industrial action.
  • Only actions that UWU notify me of may be taken as protected industrial action. Taking other action that is not notified will be unprotected.
  • Deductions from salary will be required from union members who engage in work stoppages, for the total duration of stoppage; and in relation to partial work bans where there is a significant impact on operations, a reduction in payment may be calculated in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009.
  • Non-members who participate in any industrial action will be considered to be taking unprotected industrial action and, in accordance with the Act, I am required to deduct a minimum of 4 hours salary for any unprotected industrial action.

Should I be notified that protected industrial action is to be taken, depending on the type of action notified of, further bulletins may be issued notifying employees of deductions from salary and actions that I may be required to take as the employer.

More information about the bargaining process

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process are posted on the OCPE website. Further information on bargaining and the Act can be obtained on the Fair Work Commission website or you can call their information line on 1300 799 675.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
7 April 2022

*This bulletin only applies to employees covered by the Correctional Officer (NTPS) 2017-2021 Enterprise Agreement*

Second notice of protected industrial action

As reported in Bulletin 8 a protected action ballot was recently conducted and approved by members of United Workers Union (UWU). UWU have provided me with a second notice of protected industrial action PDF (142.7 KB) which will commence on Friday 15 April and Tuesday 19 April 2022.

Consistent with my advice in Bulletin 9, no reduction in wages will be made for the actions taken under the second notice where officers are re-tasked.

From 15 April 2022, officers may refuse to perform work unless wearing union shirt or other union branded clothing, such as hats. While respecting members right to take protected action, we have been advised by delegates that this action will involve the wearing of hats only, if it is proposed to be any different, please advise the General Manager.

From 19 April 2022 officers that refuse to perform single escorts, refuse to perform escorts of prisoners to and from the Police Watchhouse or refuse to staff the Police Watchhouse will be re-tasked with alternate duties within the correctional establishments to ensure the ongoing operations of the facilities.

Employees should note it is unlawful for Correctional Officers who are not members of UWU to participate in protected industrial action.

Safety is important

Thank you to officers for continuing to communicate about actions that ensure the safety for both workers at correctional facilities and inmates. Where there is a safety risk it should be raised with supervisors as soon as possible so it can be assessed. Where possible, the agency will work with officers to implement suitable, safe measures to maintain effective operations during the protected industrial action.

Employees not participating in the protected industrial action

Employees are still required to notify of non participation so the agency can plan for alternate arrangements necessary during this period. This can be done by advising the supervisor or line manager.

Employees not participating in the protected industrial action may be required to perform duties in areas being impacted by the action, and may also be requested to perform overtime.

Just as eligible employees who are members of the union have a right to take protected action, employees have a right to not participate. In both situations there may be penalties if action is taken against an employee who chooses to participate or if action is taken against an employee who chooses to not participate. If you have any concerns these must be immediately reported to your General Manager.

Chief correctional officers

Employees performing duties of Chief Correctional Officers (CCOs) and above, either as their nominal position or on temporary promotion, are covered by the Northern Territory Public Sector 2021-2025 Enterprise Agreement and are not eligible to participate in the protected industrial action.

As required, CCOs and above maybe re-tasked to perform alternate duties during this period. I wish to thank you for your cooperation in ensuring the safety of the staff, prisoners and the public.

Important information for employees and UWU members considering taking protected industrial action

I remind employees who are considering taking protected industrial action to be aware of the following:

  • Partaking in protected industrial action is voluntary. Members eligible to take action are not required to participate.
  • Only employees who are members of UWU (who were eligible to vote) are eligible to participate in protected industrial action.
  • Only actions that UWU notify me of may be taken as protected industrial action. Taking other action that is not notified will be unprotected.
  • Deductions from salary will be required from union members who engage in work stoppages, for the total duration of stoppage; and in relation to partial work bans where there is a significant impact on operations, a reduction in payment may be calculated in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act).
  • Non-members who participate in any industrial action will be considered to be taking unprotected industrial action and, in accordance with the Act, I am required to deduct a minimum of 4 hours salary for any unprotected industrial action.

Should I be notified that protected industrial action is to be taken, depending on the type of action notified of, further bulletins may be issued notifying employees of deductions from salary and actions that I may be required to take as the employer.

More information about the bargaining process

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process are posted to the OCPE website. Further information on bargaining and the Act can be obtained at www.fwc.gov.au or you can contact the Fair Work Commission information line on 1300 799 675.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
14 April 2022

This bulletin only applies to employees covered by the Correctional Officer (NTPS) 2017-2021 Enterprise Agreement

United Workers Union (UWU) have provided me with a third notice of protected industrial action.

Read the third notice of protected industrial action PDF (137.6 KB).

The notice states:

  • Protected Action No. 4 – An unlimited number of stoppages of work of twelve hours duration.
  • This will commence:
    • at 0700 hours on 2 May 2022 and conclude at 1900 hours for Darwin Correctional Centre; and
    • at 0800 hours on 5 May 2022 and conclude at 2000 hours for Alice Springs Correctional Centre.
  • Protected Action 10 – Members will cease complying with NTCS policies about the wearing of uniforms when engaging in union-organised public events.
  • This will commence:
    • at 0700 hours on 2 May 2022 and conclude at 1900 hours for Darwin Correctional Centre; and
    • at 0800 hours on 5 May 2022 and conclude at 2000 hours for Alice Springs Correctional Centre.

Employees who participate in the stoppage of work will be deducted pay for the period of the stoppage.  This is a mandatory requirement of the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act), which prohibits an employer from making payment to an employee for the total duration that the employee engages in the industrial action.

Should members elect to return to the workplace early and not participate in the full 12 hour stoppage, they will be required to contact the General Manager to seek permission to return to the workplace early.

Unprotected Industrial Action

As previously reported, non-members who participate in the UWU industrial action will be taking unprotected industrial action.  In accordance with the Act, I am required to deduct salary for unprotected industrial action as follows:

  • Where the period of the industrial action is less than 4 hours on that day, the employer must withhold 4 hours payment from the employee; or
  • If the period of the industrial action is 4 or more hours on that day, the employer must withhold payment for the total duration of the industrial action.

Employees not participating in the Protected Industrial Action

Employees are required to notify of non participation so the agency can plan for alternate arrangements necessary during this period.  This can be done by advising the Deputy Superintendent.

Employees not participating in the protected industrial action may be required to perform duties in areas being impacted by the action, and may also be requested to perform overtime.

Just as employees who are members of the union have a right to take protected industrial action, they also have a right to not participate. No action must be taken against an employee exercising their right in either of these situations.  If you have any concerns these must be immediately reported to your General Manager.

Chief Correctional Officers

Employees performing duties of Chief Correctional Officers (CCOs) and above, either as their nominal position or on temporary promotion, are covered by the Northern Territory Public Sector 2021-2025 Enterprise Agreement and are not eligible to participate in the protected industrial action.

As required, CCOs and above may be re-tasked to perform alternate duties during this period.  I wish to thank you for your cooperation in ensuring the safety of the staff, prisoners and the public.

Important information for employees and UWU members considering taking protected industrial action

I remind employees who are considering taking protected industrial action to be aware of the following:

  • Partaking in protected industrial action is voluntary.  Members eligible to take action are not required to participate.
  • Only employees who are members of UWU are eligible to participate in protected industrial action.
  • Only actions that UWU notify me of may be taken as protected industrial action.  Taking other action that is not notified will be unprotected.
  • Deductions from salary will be required from union members who engage in work stoppages, for the total duration of stoppage.
  • Non-members who participate in any industrial action will be considered to be taking unprotected industrial action and, in accordance with the Act, I am required to deduct a minimum of 4 hours salary for any unprotected industrial action.

Please also note that during a period of industrial action employees remain subject to the code of conduct with regard to appropriate workplace behaviour.  This means no bullying, no harassing, no aggressive behaviours between management and employees and between employees themselves.

More information about the bargaining process

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process are posted to the OCPE website.  Further information on bargaining and the Act can be obtained at www.fwc.gov.au or you can contact the Fair Work Commission information line on 1300 799 675.

Jodie Ryan PSM
A/Commissioner for Public Employment
28 April 2022


Last updated: 27 April 2022

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