Medical officers enterprise agreement negotiations

The Medical Officers Northern Territory Public Sector (NTPS) 2018 - 2021 Enterprise Agreement is due to expire on 31 December 2021.

Negotiations have commenced for a new enterprise agreement.

Read the following:

Bulletins

During the bargaining process, you will be kept informed through bulletins and information sheets published on this page.

These bulletins only apply to employees covered by the Medical Officers NTPS 2018 - 2021 Enterprise Agreement.

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I advise the proposed Medical Officers NTPS 2022 – 2025 Enterprise Agreement was not approved by a majority of medical officers who voted in the ballot process.

The results of the ballot conducted by the NT Electoral Commission was as follows:

Decision Number of votes
Yes 53
No 497
Total 550

Next steps

I believe conducting a ballot for the new agreement was the right approach in all circumstances, it allowed medical officers to have their say on job certainty and improvements to terms and conditions of employment for medical officers.

While I respect the views of voters, I am also disappointed that I am unable to provide the $4,000 in a lump sum payment to employees, as well as the raft of new and improved conditions.

I will now consider my available options and will inform you of the outcome shortly, but remind medical officers that bargaining is subject to the NTPS wages policy and the constraints of the current budget parameters.

Thanks to everyone involved

Thank you to all medical officers who participated in the ballot. It is important that employees take part in the enterprise agreement process and your involvement is appreciated.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a safe and happy Easter.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
8 April 2022

The ballot for the proposed Medical Officers NTPS 2022 – 2025 Enterprise Agreement closes at 10:30am on Friday, 8 April 2022.

If you haven’t already voted, then I encourage you to take part in this ballot by casting your vote.

All Medical Officers are entitled to vote. You do not have to be a member of the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation (NT) to vote in the ballot.

Make your vote count

If majority of Medical Officers who vote, vote yes, and the agreement is approved by the Fair Work Commission, the significant improvements to terms and conditions of employment for Medical Officers will be implemented.

Every vote is important and can make a difference, and I encourage you to take part in this ballot by casting your vote.

If the vote isn’t supported the current agreement will continue to apply, the lump sum payments can’t be passed on nor the offered improvements to conditions.

Northern Territory Electoral Commission

If you have not received an email to cast your vote please contact NTEC on 8999 7641.

The NTEC ballot process ensures that all Medical Officers personal details remain confidential, and that voting preferences cannot be identified.

The Commissioner will advise Medical Officers of the ballot result via a bulletin and a notice on the OCPE website.

More information

Links to the proposed agreement and explanatory notes are available in Bulletin 6 and hard copies are available around the workplace.

For further information on the proposed agreement, explanatory notes, or the ballot process, please contact Danny Coombes at the Department of Health on 8922 7193 or Viki Smith at OCPE by calling 8999 4184.

All Bulletins and Information Sheets on the progress of bargaining and proposals for the new agreement can be accessed on the OCPE website.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
4 April 2022

The ballot for the proposed Medical Officers Northern Territory Public Sector 2022 – 2025 Enterprise Agreement has now opened.

It is important that you have your say by voting on the proposed agreement.

Your vote needs to be received prior to the ballot closing at 10:30am on Friday, 8 April 2022.

All medical officers are entitled to vote. You do not have to be a member of the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation (NT) to vote in the ballot. How to vote

You should have received an email from the Northern Territory Electoral Commission (NTEC) with instructions on how to vote electronically using the NTEC ‘Netvote’ system.

If you haven’t received an email or need assistance, contact the NT Electoral Commission by emailing netvote.NTEC@nt.gov.au or calling 08 8999 7641.

Northern Territory Electoral Commission

The Northern Territory Electoral Commission is an independent authority who manages the ballot process and counting of the votes.

The NTEC ballot process ensures that all medical officers personal details remain confidential, and that voting preferences cannot be identified.

I will advise medical officers of the ballot result via a bulletin and a notice on the OCPE webpage for the Medical Officers Enterprise Agreement Negotiations.

Make your vote count

Every vote is important and can make a difference, and I encourage you to take part in this ballot by casting your vote.

New offer

If the majority of medical officers who vote, vote yes and the Fair Work Commission approves the agreement, the current agreement will be replaced.

I am offering $10,000 in lump sum payments over 4 years. To see what it’s worth click here.

More Information

Links to the proposed agreement, explanatory notes and relevant documents referenced in the proposed agreement are available in bulletin 6, and hard copies are available around the workplace.

For further information on the proposed agreement, explanatory notes or the ballot process, contact Danny Coombes at the Department of Health by calling 08 8922 7193 or Viki Smith at OCPE by calling 08 8999 4184.

All bulletins and information sheets on the progress of bargaining and proposals for the new agreement can be accessed on the OCPE webpage for the Medical Officers Enterprise Agreement Negotiations.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
31 March 2022

The purpose of this bulletin is to distribute the proposed Medical Officers NTPS 2022-2025 Enterprise Agreement for your consideration prior to casting your vote. For more information, read the proposed agreement PDF (2.3 MB).

To assist you to understand the differences between your current agreement and the proposed new agreement, you can read the explanatory notes PDF (856.9 KB) telling you what the changes are.

Printed copies of the proposed new agreement and explanatory notes will be available around workplaces.

You can notify your manager or contact Danny Coombes by calling 08 8922 7193 if you:

  • need assistance in reading or understanding the proposed agreement; or
  • do not have access to these documents.

You should read these documents to understand the agreement you will be voting on. You can also find the following relevant documents referenced in the proposed agreement:

Contact OCPE by emailing them at enquiries.ocpe@nt.gov.au for further information or materials referenced in the proposed agreement.

Make your vote count

Bulletin 5 contains information about the ballot process. The ballot opens on 31 March 2022, and I encourage you to have your say by casting a vote.

The electronic ballot will be emailed to you using the email account details contained in myHR. If you won’t have access to your NTG email during the ballot period or would prefer the electronic ballot to be sent to your private email account, contact the NT Electoral Commission (NTEC) by emailing them at netvote.NTEC@nt.gov.au or by calling 08 8999 7641 and provide your updated details as soon as possible (note you will need to provide your AGS number for NTEC to identify you).

The ballot count will be conducted at NTEC offices in Darwin, Level 3 TCG Centre 80 Mitchell Street, Darwin.

More information

For further information on the proposed agreement, the explanatory notes or the ballot process, contact Danny Coombes at the Department of Health by calling 08 8922 7193 or Viki Smith at OCPE by calling 08 8999 4184.

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process are available on the OCPE website.

Yours sincerely,

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
23 March 2022

As reported in Bulletin 4, I made an improved offer to the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation (NT) for the new Medical Officers Northern Territory Public Sector 2022 – 2025 Enterprise Agreement, and it’s now time for Medical Officers to have your say.

Ballot process - your vote is confidential

The ballot process will be conducted by the Northern Territory Electoral Commission (NTEC).

On Wednesday, 23 March 2022 you will be sent information regarding the proposed Medical Officers Northern Territory Public Sector 2022 - 2025 Enterprise Agreement, including a link to the proposed agreement and an explanatory document highlighting the changes compared with your current agreement. Hard copies of these documents will also be available throughout your workplace.

The NTEC ballot process will be conducted online. An email including a unique identifier will be sent to you at your NTPS email address on Thursday, 31 March 2022, along with steps on how to cast and submit your confidential electronic vote. You will need your AGS number to complete the ballot process.

The online ballot will be emailed to you using the work email account details contained in myHR. If you won’t have access to this email account during the ballot period or would prefer the electronic ballot to be sent to your private email account, contact NTEC on netvote.NTEC@nt.gov.au or 08 8999 7641 at the NT Electoral Commission and provide your updated details as soon as possible (note you will need to provide your AGS number for NTEC to identify you).

Note: If you are accessing your emails through NTG webmail, the NTG system will not allow you to access the secure voting website. Employees will need to provide an alternative email address.

New offer

Timetable

The timetable for the ballot is:

Wednesday 23 March 2022 Distribute and access to the proposed Agreement and explanatory material.
Thursday 31 March 2022 Ballot opens - NTEC email with voting instructions and unique voting token number issued.
Friday 8 April 2022 Ballot closes (10:30am) – results declared.

The ballot count will be conducted at the NTEC Office in Darwin, Level 3 TCG Centre, 80 Mitchell Street. The commissioner will advise medical officers of the ballot result via a bulletin and a notice on the enterprise bargaining website for the medical officers enterprise agreement negotiations.

Update your email address by 30 March 2022

A reminder to all medical officers to update their email account which is listed in myHR by 30 March 2022. If you have any questions on how to update your contact details, contact Workforce Relations on 1800 225 547.

More information

For further information on the ballot process, contact OCPE by emailing Enquiries.Ocpe@nt.gov.au or calling 08 8999 4282.

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process are available on the OCPE website.

Yours sincerely,

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
22 March 2022

Late last year I made an offer for a new medical officers enterprise agreement.

I have considered feedback provided by the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation (Northern Territory) (AMSOF) on my offer and the parties agreed it is now time to give you – the medical officers – the opportunity to have your say from 31 March 2022, and vote on the new Medical Officers NTPS 2022 – 2025 Enterprise Agreement.

Summary of the offer

More money on offer - $10,000 over 4 years:

  • $4,000 lump sum payment
  • $2,000 lump sum payment payable 12 months after the notional expiry of the previous agreement and annually during the term of the agreement.

There would be a $4,000 lump sum payment as the first payment due after the agreement has been approved by the Fair Work Commission. For the years 2023, 2024 and 2025 the annual payment of $2,000 would be made on the first pay day on or after 1 January.

Overall, medical officers would receive $10,000 over 4 years.

Improvements and new conditions for doctors in training

  • Interns – up to 5 days per annum professional development leave for attendance at approved professional development activities.
  • Protected teaching time – allocation of up to 2 hours per week, to facilitate attendance at teaching sessions.
  • The current clause on unrostered overtime has been contemporised and the examples of ‘professional commitment’, that did not align with good rostering practices, has been removed to clarify that start times for specialists rounds for Doctors in Training are to be included in rostered hours.
  • Introduction of the NT Rural Generalist Pathway. This training pathway supports Doctors in Training with targeted training and development to become a rural generalist.
  • To encourage Doctors in Training to return to the department after undertaking a recognised vocational training program, on returning to the department within 2 months from ceasing their employment with a recognised employer, their service may be recognised as continuous service for the purposes of accrual of long service leave. The maximum period of absence with a recognised employer is 4 years (increased from 2 years).

Parental leave improvements, including the provision of interrupted service

  • Employer superannuation contributions (SG) to be paid:
    • At double the legislated rate during a period of primary caregiver leave.
    • During paid and unpaid partner leave during the first 12 months, as if the employee had been at work.
  • Parental leave provisions to be extended to a medical officer, who has worked in the department and leaves to work to with a recognised medical practice for up to 4 years and returns to the department, on completing 12 months service with the department (taking into account the period of employment performed before leaving NT Health).

Pre-eminent status allowance

  • Extended to include rural medical practitioners, rural generalists and rural medical administrators.
  • Renewal process has been simplified.

Sabbatical leave

  • Rural medical practitioners, rural generalists and rural medical administrators to be recognised as senior medical officers and be eligible for sabbatical leave.

Attraction and retention allowance – Correctional centres

  • The offer includes an increase of $15,000 per annum to the current attraction and retention allowance.

I consider the above offer to represent a good package that is within the NTPS Bargaining Policy and also reflects the extensive and constructive discussions about issues raised by all parties during bargaining.

For more details, read the information sheet - 21 March PDF (638.2 KB).

Yours sincerely,

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
21 March 2022

Negotiations have been constructive with all parties actively engaged in discussions with the aim of reaching a proposed new agreement for employees to vote on.

The proposed agreement is one of the most family supportive public sector agreements in the nation and will provide medical officers with greater certainty regarding employment conditions during the next 4 years.

The information below summaries the details of the ‘Without Prejudice” offer. Read the details of the offer.

Summary of the ‘Without Prejudice’ offer

More money on offer - $10,000 over 4 years:

  • $4,000 lump sum payment
  • $2,000 lump sum payment payable 12 months after the expiry of the previous agreement and annually during the term of the agreement.

Note: 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.

The lump sum payments are to be taxed in accordance with rules set out by the Australian Taxation Office.

New offer

Commitment if changes in the Wages Policy:

  • Should there be a change to the NT Government’s 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.

Improvements to leave provisions:

  • New – 3 days Christmas closedown
    • Medical officers (excluding casuals), granted 3 days between Christmas and New Year’s.
    • Those who are required to work during this period will be able to bank 3 days for use within 12 months.
  • Compassionate leave:
    • Increased from 3 to 5 days for immediate family or household member
    • New provision for 3 days paid leave on the occasion of the death of an extended family member (eg. aunt, uncle, cousin) or in the case of miscarriage.
  • Domestic and family violence leave provisions (uncapped paid leave):
    • Extended to include sexual violence outside the domestic setting.
  • NAIDOC leave:
    • Up to 3 hours of paid leave per annum to attend a NAIDOC march and approved activities, where TOIL is not available.
  • Gender transition leave:
    • Support for eligible employees are transitioning their gender.
    • Access up to 12 months leave, inclusive of 4 weeks paid and 48 weeks unpaid leave.
  • Improved war service leave to allow access to this leave for a subsequent war service injury.
  • Improved paid leave for voluntary emergency management activities to cover reasonable rest time.
  • Include leave by-law provisions in the agreement (eg. blood donation leave, defence leave, leave to engage in voluntary emergency management activities, jury service leave).
  • Health screening leave:
    • Improved provision.
    • 1 hours paid leave per year for the purpose of undertaking a health screening test associated with a public health screening program.

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.

Improvements for parents:

  • Double superannuation guarantee payments for during paid parental leave for the primary carer.
  • Payment of superannuation guarantee for unpaid parental leave for partners, up to 12 months.
  • Builds on current generous paid parental leave provisions (14 weeks after 12 months service, 18 weeks after 5 years services).
  • New pre-natal leave provision:
    • Up to 8 hours paid 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’).
  • Permanent care:
    • 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.
  • Foster and kinship carer’s leave:
    • 2 days paid leave to attend permanent care order interviews.
  • Flexible work improvements:
    • Ability to purchase up to 8 weeks additional leave per year (currently 6 weeks) and can be taken in shorter periods under rebranded flexible lifestyle (purchased) 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.
  • Improvements and changes for casual employees:
    • Principles will be included to allow casual employees to request the conversion of their employment after 12 months.

NT Rural Generalist Pathway:

  • Improve the existing Rural Generalist Program Industrial Pathway in order to gain alignment to the National Rural Generalist Pathway by introducing a new classification of pre-vocational rural generalist and expand existing vocational rural generalist Trainee classifications, modelled on the National Rural Generalist Pathway, refer to attachment A  DOCX (20.2 KB) as presented during bargaining.

Restrictive duty and specialist private practice allowance:

  • During the term of the new agreement, a commitment for the parties to continue working towards:
    • Introducing a new model or alternative options for restrictive duty.
    • Replacing the current specialist private practice allowance with an alternative model.

Living payments and retention allowance:

  • Extend the living payment and retention allowance to specialists who live in Katherine or remote communities.

New professional development leave:

  • Provide 5 days per annum for Interns for attendance at approved professional development activities.

Pre-eminent status allowance:

  • Introduce a simplified process for the renewal of this allowance every 2 years.
  • Extend the eligibility for pre-eminent status allowance to rural medical practitioners, rural generalists and rural medical administrators.

New travel time for professional development leave – NT remote communities:

  • Travel time to attend professional development activities, where a medical officer resides in a level 3 remote locality.

Sabbatical leave:

  • Sabbatical leave to be extended to rural medical practitioners, rural generalist and rural medical administrators.
  • Ability to take smaller blocks of leave subject to work unit head approval.

Attraction and retention allowance – correctional centres:

  • Increase to the attraction and retention allowance for working in a correctional centre.

Doctors in Training:

  • The term ‘Doctors in Training’ to be used, replacing ‘Junior Medical Officers’.

Higher duties allowance:

  • Payment of higher duties where directed to perform the full duties of that higher classification for a period of less than 6 days.

Clinical support time:

  • Up to 25% clinical support time for specialists, including senior medical officers, to be supported within the work unit.

Protected Teaching Time:

  • Protected teaching time (2 hours per week) for Doctors in Training as core business and incorporated into rosters.

Improved rostering practices and fatigue management:

  • The principles of rostering and expected requirements to support good practice and fatigue management to be incorporated into the new agreement.
  • Rostering practices to be in accordance with fatigue management principles.
  • Doctors in Training attending specialists rounds to be included in rostered work time.

Improved overtime processes:

  • Operational introduction to trial electronic variance form to improve overtime applications.
  • Contemporised unrostered overtime provisions including clear approval requirements.

Returning to NT Health after a period of absence:

  • Parental leave - extend parental leave provisions where a medical officer who has 12 months service and returns to NT Health within 4 years of absence whilst working for a recognised employer.
  • Long service leave - where a medical officer undertakes a recognised vocational training program may be eligible to access long service leave provisions.

Next steps

I have asked ASMOF (NT) to provide me with feedback in the coming weeks.

Have your say – your feedback is important

Should you wish to express a view on the proposals you can provide your feedback to me by emailing enquiries.ocpe@nt.gov.au.

More information

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process are available on the OCPE website.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
29 November 2021

The first negotiation meeting for a new Medical Officer Enterprise Agreement was held on Wednesday, 7 July 2021. This meeting was attended by representatives of the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation (NT), the Department of Health 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 proposed new agreement. It is my intention to bargain/negotiate issues so I can present a formal offer to employees before the expiry of the agreement on 31 December 2021.

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

Details of the employer’s 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 31 December 2025
  • Improve the existing Rural Generalist Trainee Program by introducing the new classification of pre-vocational rural generalist trainee and vocational rural generalist trainee, modelled on the National Rural Generalist Pathway
  • Introduce an additional salary level for the rural generalist classification
  • Paid cultural leave up to three hours to attend the NAIDOC March and approved related activities, where time off in lieu is not available
  • Move foster and kinship carer’s leave into the enterprise agreement
  • Move the majority of leave related by-laws into the enterprise agreement (e.g. leave without pay, miscellaneous leave and defence leave)
  • Increase compassionate leave to 5 days (up from 3) on the occasion of the death of employee’s immediate family member
  • Improved compassionate leave provisions to include 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
  • 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 up to 8 hours paid leave per pregnancy for the purpose of attending pregnancy-related medical appointments
  • Paid leave for pre-adoption interviews (up to 8 hours). Paid leave for permanent care order applications and interview for foster and kinship carers (up to 8 hours)
  • 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 time off in lieu is not available, employees within 3 years of the superannuation accruing age (currently 65) will have will have up to 2 hours paid leave per annum to seek independent financial advice on their superannuation options
  • Include principles for a casual employee to have the right to request conversion to ongoing / fixed employment after 12 months casual employment

Note: Improvements to leave provisions will require the same notice and documentary evidence requirements.bulletin 5

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 medical 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
9 July 2021

The Medical Officer NTPS 2018-2021 Enterprise Agreement is due to expire on 31 December 2021, and the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation NT and I have agreed to commence bargaining for a new agreement.

Initial bargaining meeting

The initial bargaining meeting is scheduled as follows:

Date: Wednesday, 30 June 2021
Time: 9:00am to 4:00pm
Location: NT House, Level 6, Gurrumbuy Room, 22 Mitchell Street, Darwin NT 0800

Bargaining representatives

The Fair Work Act 2009 imposes rights and obligations on employers, unions and employees with respect to the bargaining process. Attached for your information is the required statutory Notice of Employee Representational Rights, advising employees of the right to be represented in relation to the bargaining process.

Instruments of appointment for bargaining representatives can be forwarded before the initial meeting (or at any time during the bargaining process) by email to enquiries.ocpe@nt.gov.au or by mail to:

Attention: Employee Relations
Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment
GPO Box 4371
Darwin NT 0801

Bargaining representatives are requested to contact my office on 08 8999 4282 to confirm meeting dates.

More information

Regular updates in relation to the 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
15 June 2021


Last updated: 02 November 2022

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