Correctional Officers

The current enterprise agreement can be found here PDF (2.3 MB).

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

Enterprise Agreement negotiations to commence

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, 18th June 2021
Time: 1.00pm to 5.00pm
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) 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 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

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 Northern Territory Public Sector 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 two days of personal leave without medical certificate (out of five days per annum), to attract consolidated allowance loadings. Three to five days to be paid at base salary
  • Over time payments for travel time to cease (i.e. 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 (e.g. 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 five days (up from three days) for immediate family/household members
  • Introduce new entitlement to 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, of three days paid leave
  • Inclusion of “flexible-lifestyle leave” to support work life balance and improve entitlement to allow purchase of up to eight 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 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 for preadoption interviews. 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 (four weeks paid leave and 12 months unpaid)
  • Improve existing miscellaneous leave entitlement to allow an employee to access up to two hours paid leave per annum for mental health screening/cancer screening
  • Where operationally viable (e.g. overtime and lock downs not required), and where time off in lieu is not available, discuss options for up to three hours NAIDOC leave per annum to attend NAIDOC march and approved activities
  • Where time off in lieu is not available, employees within three years of the superannuation accruing age (currently 65) will have up to two 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 three days to two
  • 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 to the OCPE website.  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.

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 four years (plus employer superannuation guarantee where applicable)
  • more benefits to employees to support work life balance and employees with caring responsibilities (e.g. a range of new paid leave options)
  • moving the majority of leave related by-laws into the enterprise agreement (e.g. 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 four 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 four 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 to the OCPE website. 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.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
September 2021

Improved proposals

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 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
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 PSEM Act and listed on the OCPE Redeployment Database for longer than two 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 &   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 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 to the OCPE webpage at Enterprise Agreement Negotiations - Correctional Officers.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
December 2021

Australian Electoral Commission – Important Notice to Employees

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 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 Fair Work website or you can contact the Fair Work Commission information line on 1300 799 675.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
22 December 2021

Important Information about Employee Representational Rights in Enterprise Bargaining Negotiations


Last updated: 22 December 2021

Give feedback about this page.

Share this page:

URL copied!