Bulletin 5 - Formal offer by the Commissioner for Public Employment - issued 3 December 2021

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


Last updated: 27 April 2022

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