Bulletin 3 - Negotiations have commenced - Issued 7 June 2021

The first negotiation meeting for a new NTPS Fire and Rescue Service Enterprise Agreement was held on Monday, 31 May 2021. This was a productive meeting and was attended by representatives of the United Workers Union, the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service, and my Office.

I advised those present at the meeting that I am seeking a new enterprise agreement that falls within the Northern Territory Public Sector Bargaining Policy 2021- 2024 with improved conditions of employment and efficiency measures.

I presented an overview of the employer’s proposals for a new agreement and your representatives took the time to listen and understand these proposals.

The United Workers Union has advised that they will present their log of claims at our next meeting, which is scheduled for 10 June 2021.

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 by no later than 6 November 2021.

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

Overview of the employer proposals

  • $1000 lump sum payment per annum
  • New day work recognition incentive for employees in Day Command and Track Stations, in place of PDO’s (excluding District Officers and Humpty Doo Station). 6.5% in the first year of service and 8.5% for subsequent years.
  • Enhance skills maintenance provisions for employees in Day Command and Track Stations
  • Enhance the firefighter career pathway to realise a highly skilled and responsive workforce and increase opportunities for future leaders
  • Address inconsistencies of the application of the Major Aerial Appliance (Bronto) Operator Allowance
  • Introduce a centralised rostering framework for governance and corporate efficiency purposes
  • Enhance Accelerated Recruitment Program to include re-appointees, subject to eligibility requirements
  • Include entitlements to leave without pay, miscellaneous leave, and defence service leave in the new agreement
  • NAIDOC leave - include up to 3 hours of flextime/ TOIL/ paid leave to attend NAIDOC March and approved activities
  • Increase paid compassionate leave to 5 days (up from 3 days) for immediate family/household members
  • New entitlement to 3 days paid leave on the death of an employee’s extended family member (i.e. aunt/uncle/niece/nephew/first cousin)
  • Domestic and family violence leave provisions expanded to cover circumstances of sexual violence
  • New entitlement to 8 hours paid pre-natal leave for a pregnant employee or spouse to attend pregnancy related medical appointments
  • Introduce 2 days paid leave for pre-adoption interviews and permanent care order applications and interviews for foster and kinship carers
  • A four year agreement
  • Increased salary for District Officers (4.5%) in place of PDO’s
  • Realignment of specialised skills and allowances to employees in Day Command
  • Introduction of tenure rotation to ensure skills are adequately spread across commands and operations are diversified
  • Include Certificate IV in Training and Assessment as part of the Senior Firefighter rank
  • Improve access to Higher Duties Allowance to address operational issues that arise when backfilling District Officer vacancies
  • Update recall to duty provisions in line with the Fire and Emergency Act
  • Provide access to 2 hours paid leave per annum for mental health screening/cancer screening
  • Include foster and kinship carer’s leave in the agreement
  • Compassionate leave provisions expanded to include circumstances of miscarriage
  • Introduce new “flexible-lifestyle leave” to support work life balance - allows purchase of up to 8 weeks additional leave per year
  • Improve support for families by providing employees with the right to return from parental leave on a part-time basis for up to 6 months
  • Support diversity at work by introducing a new entitlement for gender transition leave (4 weeks paid leave and 12 months unpaid)
  • Transition to retirement – enable employees within 3 years of superannuation accruing age (currently 65) to access flextime/ TOIL/ paid leave up to 2 hours per annum to seek independent financial advice on superannuation options

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

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
June 2021

Last updated: 04 May 2022

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