New offer for a General NTPS Enterprise Agreement
Outlined below are the full terms of an overall improved ‘without prejudice’ offer for a new enterprise agreement to replace the Northern Territory Public Sector 2017 – 2021 Enterprise Agreement.
The offer is consistent with the NT Public Sector Wages Policy 2021-2024 and the NTPS Bargaining Policy 2021-2024, and the terms comprise a complete package of improvements and changes to terms and conditions of employment.
These additional improvements will see the Agreement as 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.
Improved Offer for NTPS 2021– 2025 Enterprise Agreement
- Term of Agreement
It is proposed the new agreement (the Agreement) will have a 4 year term that will provide employees with job certainty and secured terms and conditions over this period including employment security.
- No involuntary redundancies for term of Agreement
There will be no involuntary redundancies (notice of redundancy) for the term of the Agreement. This does not apply to an employee declared potentially surplus to requirements under section 41 of the Public Sector Employment and Management Act 1993 (PSEM Act) and listed on the Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment Redeployment Database for longer than 2 years.
- Lump sum payment
There would be a $4,000 lump sum payment after the Agreement is voted up and then $2,000 lump sum payments payable on the first pay day on or after 10 August for the years 2022, 2023 and 2024.
Overall, employees would receive $10,000 over 4 years.
Employer superannuation guarantee is applicable to the lump sum payment. However, 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.
To be eligible for the lump sum payment, employees must be employed on the date the payment is to be made as set out in the Agreement. The lump sum will be payable to employees who are on unpaid parental leave, unpaid personal leave or other leave without pay that is for a period of less than 4 weeks.
Part time employees will be eligible for the full lump sum payment (i.e. not pro-rata).
Casual employees will be eligible for the lump sum payment if, within three months prior to the payment date they have: been paid for work; or performed work which is due to be paid after the date of lump sum.
Employees on multiple employment contracts (consistent with section 38A of the PSEM Act) will only be eligible for a single lump sum payment on each occasion in relation to the performance of work in classifications in the Agreement under all contracts of employment.
- Changes to Wages Policy During Term of Agreement
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 at point 3 of this improved offer) these will be passed on through a determination.
Improved NTPS Common Conditions
- No reduction in current or future rights and entitlements
The Agreement would include a clause that there will be no reduction in current or future employee rights and entitlements, including provision of allowances and leave arrangements.
A new sub-clause will also be included providing that the Commissioner undertakes that for the term of this Agreement, general employment conditions specified in the PSEM By-laws and Determinations will not be unilaterally varied without consultation and agreement with the affected parties prior to the formalisation of an amendment.
- Continue to increase allowances by Consumer Price Index (CPI)
The Agreement would continue CPI indexation of existing allowances in Determination Number 1 of 2021 that are adjusted by the September to September Darwin CPI. The allowances will not reduce if the Darwin CPI is negative.
- New Christmas closedown leave
A new entitlement providing paid Christmas Closedown Leave for three days to cover an agency’s closedown period between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Employees (excluding casuals), who are required to work during the closedown will be able to bank 22.05 hours, or 22.8 hours for those on 38 hours per week of Christmas closedown leave (i.e. 3 days based on the ordinary weekly hours of 36.75 hours or 38 hours per week). This will be paid at the employee’s base salary including any allowance that counts as salary for all purposes and will include, for shiftworkers, penalties that would have been paid for the rostered hours on the day the banked leave is taken.
In recognition of the requirement for school-based 92% and 96% Administrative Officers to take recreation leave during the December/January school holidays, the clause will entitle these employees to take banked Christmas closedown leave during designated school terms or to enable paid leave during periods of stand down without pay.
For clarity, as this is not a typical leave entitlement, the clause will provide that banked leave:
- must be taken within 12 months and doesn’t accumulate;
- is not available to be taken at half pay;
- will not attract recreation leave loading or be paid out on cessation; and
employees who are on paid parental leave, or any form of leave without pay spanning over the Christmas and New Year period are not eligible for Christmas closedown leave.
- Improved Dispute Settling Procedures
The Agreement would retain the existing Dispute Settling Procedures (i.e. no reduction) in relation to disputes that may be referred to arbitration. In addition, the current provisions would be amended to allow all disputes regarding refusals for flexible work or to extend parental leave to be referred to arbitration by a party following unsuccessful attempts at internal resolution and conciliation. This change removes the current exemptions and expands disputes that can be taken to arbitration, if required.
- Improved Excess Travel Time
Amendments to the existing provisions to provide employees above the salary barrier for Excess Travel Time (i.e. not eligible), but who would otherwise meet the excess travel time provisions, with the ability to accrue time off in lieu (not paid overtime). This will apply to employees in receipt of annual salary up to the maximum salary payable to an Administrative Officer level 6. The accrued TOIL is to be taken within three months or as agreed with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
- Improved Union delegate training leave – remove service requirements
The existing 12 month service requirement to be eligible for paid union delegate training leave would be removed. All other requirements will be retained (e.g. evidence employee has been nominated by the union to attend and of attendance at the course).
- Request to work from home – only CEO may refuse
Facilitating flexible working arrangements for all employees will be a key objective of the Agreement. To support this objective, only CEOs will have the authority to refuse an employee’s request to work from home. Such requests may only be refused on reasonable business grounds as defined in the Agreement.
- Incorporate Public Sector Employment and Management By-law leave entitlements in the Agreement
The following By-law entitlements will be incorporated into the Agreement:
- Defence Service Leave (By-law 14)
- Leave Without Pay (By-law 16)
- Leave to Attend Arbitration Business (By-law 17)
- Release for Jury Service (By-law 20
- Release to Attend as a Witness (By-law 21)
- Miscellaneous Leave (By-law 18)
Miscellaneous leave (By-law 18) entitlements would be set out in separate clauses, namely ‘Blood Donation Leave’ and ‘Leave to Engage in Voluntary Emergency Management Activities’ (See Item 17 below for an enhancement to this entitlement.)
- Improved leave for disabilities caused by war service (War Service Leave)
The existing entitlements, referenced in the current personal leave provisions but set out in Determination Number 6 of 2011, would be improved and included in the Agreement to support a comprehensive agreement. To assist veterans and agencies to apply the entitlements, the provisions would make it clear that ‘war service’ includes peace-keeping service and hazardous operational service. The improvement will enable eligible employees to access their accrued war service leave (i.e. leave granted and accrued in relation to their original disability) for a further condition recognised as caused by war sometime after the recognition of the original disability (e.g. PTSD). Leave is currently only available in relation to the original disability.
- NEW - NAIDOC March and approved activities
Paid NAIDOC leave would be available (up to 3 hours) to attend NAIDOC march and NAIDOC week activities. Paid leave will be approved where flextime or time off in lieu are not otherwise available.
- Foster and Kinship Carers leave
Foster Carer and Kinship Carers Leave, set out in Determination Number 7 of 2020, would be included in the Agreement to support a comprehensive agreement and the entitlements improved to provide 2 days paid leave (currently unpaid) to attend Permanent Care Order interviews.
- NEW - Gender Transition Leave
Gender transition leave would be available to support employees who wish to transition their gender. Employees (excluding casuals) with at least 12 months service and who have commenced transitioning their gender, would be entitled to up to 12 months leave, inclusive of 4 weeks paid and 48 weeks unpaid. Additional paid leave may be granted by the CEO on a case-by-case basis.
- Leave to engage in voluntary emergency management activities - improved Miscellaneous Leave
This is a new clause that transfers Miscellaneous Leave (By-law 18) in relation to volunteering for emergency management activities into the Agreement. The existing By-law provision will be updated to reflect current legislation and improved to include paid leave for reasonable rest time immediately following the employee’s participation in the emergency management activity.
- Improved Compassionate Leave
There would be a number of improvements to compassionate leave as follows:
- 3 days increased to 5 days on the death or serious threat to life of the employee’s immediate family or household member, which will now include stillbirths (refers to cl 38.4(a) of the current Agreement);
- NEW – 3 days paid compassionate leave on the death of the employee’s (excluding casuals) extended family member. These are relatives not covered under ‘immediate family or household member’. ‘Extended family member’ would be defined in the Agreement as meaning:
- a spouse of the employee’s child (e.g. son-in- law)
- a spouse of the employee’s sibling (e.g. sister-in-law)
- an aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or first cousin of the employee.
- NEW – 3 days paid leave if the employee or their partner experiences a miscarriage. The employee must provide a medical certificate from a medical practitioner stating that the employee’s pregnancy or the partner’s pregnancy has ended. Leave is unpaid for casual employees.
- NEW – Kinship Obligation Leave – 5 days paid leave for Sorry Business
The Australian First Nation’s definition of ‘kinship’ will be included in the Agreement for the purpose of providing up to 5 days paid leave per annum to attend ‘Sorry Business’ or related purposes. That definition is:
Australian First Nations kinship where there is a connection, relationship or obligation under the customs, traditions or cultures of the communities, groups or families to which the employee belongs.
The definition was developed by an extensive consultation process involving key Aboriginal NTPS representatives.
The 5 days will be in addition to compassionate leave, may be taken in broken periods and at half pay. The 5 days does not accrue and is not cumulative.
- Health Screening Leave – doubles existing entitlement
Currently 1 hour paid leave is available every 2 years for cancer screening under Miscellaneous Leave (By-law 18). The Agreement would replace this entitlement with a new ‘health screening leave’ that enables employees to access up to 1 hour of paid leave per year for the purpose of undertaking a health screening test associated with a public health screening program. A ‘health screening test’ means a diagnostic procedure or medical appointment undertaken to screen for cancer or mental health conditions. If an employee undertakes screening for cancer and mental health in the same year, the maximum entitlement is 1 hour of paid leave.
- Improved - Flexible Lifestyle (Purchased) Leave
The ‘Purchase of Additional Leave (Purchased Leave)’ in Schedule 1 clause 1.3 of the current Agreement would be re-named ‘Flexible Lifestyle (Purchased) Leave’ and enhanced to allow employees to request up to 8 weeks additional leave (currently maximum 6 weeks) per year and to take the leave in blocks of 2 days (currently 1 week minimum).
This scheme enables employees to purchase more leave, through salary deductions, to be taken in the year it is purchased. Conditions will apply, including the requirement for employees to provide a written plan outlining how they intend to utilise the leave and the purchase must not result in an excess recreation leave balance.
- Parental Leave Improvements
- Employer superannuation contributions (SG) paid during Parental Leave
- NEW - Recognising the support parents need at the time of the birth / placement of their child, a new provision to pay SG during paid and unpaid Partner Leave during the first 12 months as if the employee had been at work. Employees will be eligible if their spouse is also a NTPS employee. (Note: employees taking Primary Caregiver Leave already have this entitlement).
- NEW - Recognising that women’s superannuation earning capacity may reduce when on parental leave, to pay SG at double the legislated rate during a period of paid Primary Caregiver Leave (includes Special Maternity Leave (stillbirth)). Should the employee elect to take any paid parental leave at half pay, the double superannuation contributions will only be paid for a period that is equivalent to utilising the paid parental leave at full pay.
- Parental leave provisions have been updated to clarify that an employee on Partner Leave does not transfer to ‘Primary Caregiver Parental Leave’ should they take over the carer responsibilities from their partner during the first 14 or 18 weeks following birth (or day of placement). This is how the clause currently operates and there is no change to these entitlements. The improved offer is providing, for the first time, employees on Partner Leave with employer superannuation payments at the normal legislated rate during their paid and unpaid Partner Leave (conditions apply). Access to combined parental leave is still available where the partner and primary carer are employed within the NTPS.
- Expanded definition of ‘continuous service’
To support employment mobility between different agencies within the broader NT Government context, the definition of ‘continuous service’ in the Parental Leave provisions would be expanded to recognise prior service with an agency for the purposes of the Financial Management Act 1995 (e.g. NT Police Force, Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority). This change would enable more employees to access paid parental leave entitlements or provide increased paid parental leave (e.g. with prior service recognised an employee can achieve 5 or more years’ service and be eligible for 18 weeks paid leave). Similar changes would be made to the definition of an ‘NTPS Employee Couple’ to enable NT Government employees to combine their paid parental leave entitlements.
- Improved - Returning from Parental Leave
Full-time employees returning from parental leave currently have a right ‘to request’ to convert to part-time employment on a temporary or permanent basis. Where the employee wishes to do so, the Agreement would provide a right ‘to return’ on a part-time basis for up to 6 months. The provision will provide that the employee can return to the same job/ duties or alternative duties. If ‘alternative duties’ required to accommodate part-time, the employee will be paid their full rate of pay (for position they held before parental leave) for the hours worked whilst on transfer to alternative duties. A longer period may be requested and approved by the CEO.
- NEW - Pre-natal Leave
An employee, whose partner is pregnant, or a pregnant employee will be able to access up to 8 hours paid leave to attend pre-natal appointments. Casuals will have access to unpaid leave. Currently employees use personal or other leave or flextime to accommodate these appointments.
- Improved - Pre-adoption Leave
The Agreement would improve the existing entitlement for employees to enable up to 2 days paid leave (currently unpaid) to attend interviews or examinations required in order to obtain approval for the employee’s adoption of a child. Casual employees will be eligible for up to 2 days unpaid leave as per the current provisions.
- Employer superannuation contributions (SG) paid during Parental Leave
- Domestic Family and Sexual Violence Provisions
The existing domestic and family violence provisions in clause 40 of the current Agreement would be expanded to include circumstances where employees have experienced sexual violence (i.e. sexual violence in non-domestic/family situations). The paid leave entitlements, currently provided in Miscellaneous Leave (By-law 18), will be included in the Agreement to support a comprehensive agreement. The CEO will retain the ability to approve uncapped paid leave for these purposes.
- Provision for Casuals right to request / Employer obligation to offer conversion to ongoing employment
To assist casual employees and agencies to be aware of the casual conversion rights and obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009 / National Employment Standards (and also the underlying NTPS Enterprise Award 2016), the Agreement would contain a signpost clause to the relevant legislation under the ‘Casual Employment’ clause.
Specific Improvements for General NTPS
- Emergency Leave
The current By-law 15 Emergency Leave entitlement would be included in the Agreement, retained at 3 days per year (i.e. no reduction to existing entitlement) and include a new definition of what constitutes an ‘emergency’ to support greater consistency in the application of the entitlement across agencies.
- Overtime Rates
The Agreement would provide that where overtime worked spans midnight and a higher overtime rate applies at the start of the overtime shift, that higher rate will apply for the whole overtime shift worked. For example, overtime worked on a Public Holiday (double time and a half) into a non-Public Holiday (time and a half) will all be paid at the Public Holiday rate.
The Agreement would also provide that the calculation of overtime payments will recognise overtime hours commenced before and continuing after midnight as one continuous period to determine when an employee is entitled to a higher overtime rate. For example, once the employee has worked 2 hours at time and a half from 10 pm to midnight, they will be entitled to double time until the end of their shift. This addresses the unions’ claims that overtime penalty rates will not be artificially re-started at midnight.
Responses to Union Claims
I have also agreed to a number of the unions claims that have been discussed during negotiation meetings and propose to incorporate into this offer as set out below.
- No reduction in current or future employee rights and entitlements – see Item 5 above.
- Dispute Settling Procedures – see Item 7 above.
- Removal of 12 month service requirement for union delegate leave – see Item 9 above.
- The Agreement would include a new clause in relation to a safe and health work environment that provides:
- A commitment to supporting sector-wide guidelines to ensure work health and safety of employees, including remote employees and where travelling for work is required.
- For all employees to be granted reasonable unscheduled short rest breaks (other than meal breaks) during work hours to refresh to ensure safe systems of work.
- Rest relief - after overtime
The Agreement would include a new provision to enhance the rest relief after overtime entitlements so that employees will be able to delay the start of their scheduled ordinary duty, to a time determined in consultation with their manager, if overtime performed in the 16 hours immediately before the employee’s scheduled start time would contribute to an increased risk of fatigue. The employee would be paid for the ordinary working time during such absence and must not be required to work beyond their normal shift end time to ‘make up’ for the delayed start. Approving a delayed start will ensure fatigue management principles are adhered to and will apply even if the employee has had at least 8 consecutive hours (or 10 consecutive hours as per relevant Schedule) off duty between the termination of their ordinary duty on one day and the commencement of their ordinary duty on the next day.
The clause would retain the current entitlement to a penalty payment if the employee has not had the required 8 (or 10) consecutive hours break between the termination of ordinary duty on one day and the start of ordinary duty on the next day because of overtime performed.
Rest relief after overtime in Schedule 1 (CPSU) clause 5 – the new agreement will retain the long-standing and existing wording from clauses 2.5.1 and 2.5.2 as these provide the entitlements in relation to employee’s having at least an 8 hour break (plus reasonable travel time) between the termination of ordinary duty on one day and the commencement of ordinary duty on the next day. A new sub-clause (‘fatigue management’) reflecting my improved offer will deal with an employee’s entitlements where they have received the required minimum rest relief but are subsequently required to perform overtime before staring their ordinary duty at times or at a level of disturbance that would reasonably cause fatigue. This situation may occur during two consecutive days off (e.g. weekend). Employees will consult with their managers to organise a delayed start for their ordinary duty to manage fatigue. In response to union feedback, the inclusion of a reference to the ‘16 hours immediately before the employee’s scheduled start time’ has been omitted. It is acknowledged this may lead to confusion or potentially limit the period that should reasonably be considered by the manager when managing an employee’s fatigue.
- Aboriginal recruitment, training and career progression
The Agreement would include a new clause that the parties acknowledge the NTPS Aboriginal Employment and Career Development Strategy for 2021 – 2025 and Employment Instruction Number 15 (Special Measures) as a key policy initiative and legislation respectively supporting Aboriginal recruitment, training and career progression.
- Time off in lieu of overtime (TOIL)
The current 8 month period in which employees must take TOIL would be reduced to 3 months. As per current provisions, where TOIL cannot be taken the employee will be paid overtime.
- Minimum Engagement for Casual Employees
Casual employees will be entitled to a minimum daily engagement of 3 hours.
- Sonographer skills and responsibility allowance
The current entitlements provided in Determination Number 1039 of 2021 would be incorporated into the Agreement.
- Overtime for Senior Radiographers and Sonographers
A facilitative clause would be incorporated into the Agreement permitting the CEO of the Department of Health to approve overtime and restriction duty to Senior Radiographers and Sonographers provided certain conditions are satisfied. Currently approval from the Commissioner for Public Employment is required.
- Removal of Lower Level Classifications (Physical, Technical and Administrative Officer)
The unions have proposed removing some entry level classifications and reviewing increment scales for classifications. In response and to ensure a comprehensive examination of classifications is undertaken, I propose including in the Agreement commitments for the parties to undertake joint reviews into Physical, Technical and Administrative Officer classifications at level 4 and below. These reviews would commence within three months of the commencement of the Agreement with any agreed outcomes implemented via a Commissioner for Public Employment’s determination. Recommendations and proposals put forward by the review working parties will be considered in line with the NTPS Wages Policy.
- Remote Locality Rental Concession
The Agreement will include the entitlement to a 100% rental concession for Category 1 and 2 Remote Localities currently provided in Determination Number 1016 of 2018. In addition, the current applicable rental concessions for all remote localities will be listed in the Agreement. ‘Remote Localities’ to remain as defined in Determination Number 8 of 2015.
- Infectious Disease
The unions sought provisions dealing with pandemic situations e.g. COVID-19, and other changes to the infectious diseases provisions in the current Agreement. As discussed in bargaining, pandemic events are rare and COVID-19 has shown that I am able to quickly and appropriately respond to rapidly changing circumstances to support employees with a range of entitlements using my powers under the Public Sector Employment and Management Act 1993. The claim to include pandemic leave conditions in the Agreement is not agreed. Employees who are sick or suffering from a notifiable disease will be required to utilise personal leave. Where an employee has exhausted their leave entitlements, the CEO may grant additional sick leave at half pay, as is currently the case. However, the clause has been amended in response to unions’ claims where employees are required to quarantine but are not sick. Employees will be required to take recreation leave only where working from home or another location is not possible.
A new clause would be included to acknowledge that if an employee suffers an injury or disease in the course of employment they may be eligible for workers compensation entitlements in accordance with the Return to Work Act 1986.
- Definitions for Ongoing, Fixed Period and Casual employment
Proposed new clause to provide definitions of types of employment in the Agreement to be modelled on NTPS Enterprise Award 2016 and current NTPS 2017-2021 Enterprise Agreement, as well as the Determinations Numbered 9 of 2012 (Part-time employment) and 3 of 2012 (Casual employment).
This clause would incorporate a signpost clause to the Fair Work Act 2009 / National Employment Standards for casual conversion.
- Apprentices and Trainees – prior service recognised
NEW – An ongoing or fixed period employee, who was previously a hosted trainee or apprentice with a NT Government agency (NTG) during their traineeship or apprenticeship, will have their prior service with the NTG host agency recognised for the purposes of parental leave and long service leave. Service will be recognised provided there was less than 2 months break between the time with the hosted NTG agency and employment with the NTPS.
- NTPS Apprentice, Trainees and Graduates
- NEW – the Agreement will include 4 new classifications, and the applicable employment terms and conditions, currently provided in Commissioner’s Determinations. The classifications are: ‘NTPS Trainee’, ‘NTPS Apprentice’, ‘NTPS School-Based Traineeship’ and ‘Graduate Trainee’. Incorporating these classifications into the Agreement supports a comprehensive agreement and extends agreement coverage to these employees.
- To ensure NTPS Trainee, NTPS Apprentice and NTPS School-based Trainee classifications proposed for inclusion in the Agreement (from Determination Number 5 of 2020) continue to receive salary at rates consistent with the Northern Territory Public Sector Enterprise Award 2016 (Enterprise Award) for the term of the Agreement, salary will be adjusted annually in accordance with the Enterprise Award and implemented via a Determination. Where salary does increase in any year, the annual $1000 lump sum payable to these employees will be adjusted accordingly.
- The Agreement would contain a commitment to reviewing the introduction of targets for the number of apprentices, trainees and graduates employed per year.
- Improved Consultative Committee provision
An improved clause 15 (Consultative Committees) to outline matters the CEO can consider in relation to the operation of a consultative committees such as, the scheduling of meetings, the composition of the committee and standing agenda items.
- Work Life Balance and Family Friendly Provisions
Employees would continue to have access to the work life balance options provided under the current Agreement (e.g. recreation leave at half pay, part-time employment, and flextime). The offer contains a number of enhancements to existing entitlements that facilitate employees working flexibly.
For consistency and to ensure employee requests are considered in a timely manner, 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. ‘Reasonable business grounds’ will be as defined in the current Agreement. Note: As per Item 11 above, only the CEO can refuse a request to work from home.
The Agreement would also contain a commitment to supporting a sector-wide working from home policy with standard and clear guidelines.
The unions’ initial claim sought increases to the employer contribution by 0.5% per annum until the rate reached 12%, irrespective of any Commonwealth legislation. I acknowledge the claim was varied with unions seeking to include just a commitment in the Agreement to increase to 0.5%. I was unable to agree to this part of the unions’ claim as it is outside the Wages Policy.
Employer superannuation guarantee (SG) will be paid in accordance with federal legislation. This means legislated SG increases during the term of the Agreement will apply and that superannuation will only be paid up to the maximum contribution base even if an employee’s ordinary time earnings (including allowances which count for purposes of superannuation) exceed this amount. For employees in defined benefit schemes (e.g. NTGPASS and CSS), superannuation will continue to apply in accordance with the rules of the relevant fund.
- Commitment to Review Community Language Allowance
The parties to review Determination Number 6 of 2013 during the term of this Agreement and implement the agreed outcomes of the review. The Agreement to include a clause to confirm that, if directed by the CEO to use their bilingual communication skills, employee will be paid in accordance with Determination Number 6 of 2013 Community Language Allowance.
- Commitment to Review of Professional Increment Scales and Senior Pay Progression Scheme
A commitment to conduct a review of the increment scales within the Professional classification to examine the increments, especially in comparison of their public sector counterparts and include any cost implications associated with any proposal. In addition, a commitment to review the Senior Pay Progression Scheme as it applies to Senior Professionals and Senior Administrative Officers. The review to commence within 12 months of the commencement of the Agreement.
- Commitment to Shiftwork Review
It is proposed that the parties undertake a review of the terms and conditions presently in place for shiftworkers under the Agreement. It is proposed that issues to be discussed as part of the review, amongst others that may arise during the review, will include:
- definitions of day, afternoon and night shift
- ordinary hours of work and associated salary
- shiftwork penalties
- provisions for notice of roster changes.
- Chief Correctional Officers and above ranks
- Core Instructors Allowance – the current rate in Schedule 9 clause 9.15.3(a) will be increased from $100 to $110.38 per day (consistent with the rate applicable to correctional officers) together with the introduction of paying 50% of the daily rate where only half day training is conducted. The rate will not be indexed or adjusted during the term of the Agreement.
- Long Service Leave – the Agreement will amend Schedule 9 clause 9.17 to reinstate long service leave entitlements that were inadvertently incorrectly translated from the Senior Prison Officers’ Arbitral Tribunal Determination Number 4 into the current Agreement. The correction relates to employees exempt from the requirement to utilise accrued long service leave entitlements within specified periods.
- Overtime spanning midnight -the Agreement would provide that where overtime worked spans midnight and a higher overtime rate applies at the start of the overtime shift, that higher rate will apply for the whole overtime shift worked. For example, overtime worked on a Public Holiday (double time and a half) into a non-Public Holiday (time and a half) will all be paid at the public holiday rate.
- Career progression and qualifications – Schedule 9 clause 9.3.6(b) of the current Agreement deals with alternative qualifications and refers to ‘relevant qualifications’ where an employee can be appointed on a fixed period basis whilst obtaining the essential qualifications. These provisions require modification to ensure ‘relevant qualifications’, at a minimum, relate to a custodial service qualification. In determining ‘relevant qualifications’ the provisions would require the agency to consider advice from the accredited Registered Training Organisation (e.g. Brush Farm).
- School-based Officers
- The Agreement would include a signpost clause referencing the Department of Education’s ‘Duty of Care Information Sheet’ to assist school-based employees (e.g. Special Education Support Officers) with their responsibilities in relation to student supervision and the teacher’s duty of care.
- The Agreement would include a clause for school-based Administrative Officers on 92% or 96% salary arrangement clarifying that, unless otherwise approved by the CEO, recreation leave is to be taken during the December/January school holidays.
- Retention of clauses/provisions
To address the claims related to the retention of existing clauses or provisions, it is proposed to:
- retain the existing clause 33 regarding the management of reasonable workloads
- retain the existing clause 14 Management of Change with some technical amendments. This maintains the existing requirement to consult prior to a decision being made.
- Recreation Leave – application and recall to duty
A claim was submitted seeking a number of changes to the existing cl 42.5 (Granting of Leave). In response to the union’s claim, the current clause will be amended to state that an application for recreation leave will not be unreasonably refused. Other concerns regarding the timeliness of granting leave applications and recall to duty can be addressed operationally. In practice, employees being recalled to duty occurs very rarely and subject to exceptional circumstances.
- Integrity of Payments
NEW – In response to unions’ claim to inform employees about the legal requirements under the Financial Management Act on the occasion they receive an overpayment or underpayment of salaries, a new provision to reference the appropriate legislation. The new provision amends the existing cl 25 Recovery of Overpayments.
- Commitment to develop NTPS Fatigue Management Principles
The parties agree that better fatigue management across the NTPS is a common goal and agreement to develop Fatigue Management Principles guidelines (NTPS General EA) in conjunction with the unions.
- Operational matters regarding the application of conditions
There were a number of matters raised by the unions and bargaining agents pertaining to the application of entitlements and conditions, for example, the application and processes for uniforms for certain employees (e.g. protective footwear), and camping allowance if camping gear is not provided to the employee. These were investigated and reported back during the bargaining process. Existing clauses would be amended, where necessary, for greater clarity regarding the application and eligibility to entitlements. Such matters are encouraged to be raised during the life of any agreement to ensure employees and managers are applying the correct employment entitlements.
Any agreed proposals arising from reviews conducted during the term of the agreement that have cost or operational implications will be subject to the NTPS Wages and Bargaining policies.
Last updated: 25 November 2021
Share this page:URL copied!