Bulletin 2 - Negotiations have commenced - issued 21 June 2021

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

Last updated: 27 April 2022

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