Bulletin 11 – Third notice of protected industrial action - issued 28 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: 28 April 2022

Give feedback about this page.

Share this page:

URL copied!