Nurses and midwives enterprise agreement negotiations

An enterprise agreement is an agreement between an employer and its employees that sets the wages and conditions of those employees.

The Northern Territory Public Sector (NTPS) Nurses and Midwives’ 2018 - 2022 Enterprise Agreement is due to expire on 20 August 2022.

Read the:

Bulletins

You'll find the latest bulletins to the bargaining for a new agreement below.

These bulletins are for employees engaged in the following NTPS classifications: nurses and midwives.

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The Northern Territory Public Sector Nurses and Midwives’ 2018 - 2022 Enterprise Agreement is due to expire on 20 August 2022, and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation and I have agreed to commence bargaining for a new agreement.

Initial bargaining meeting

The initial bargaining meeting is scheduled as follows:

Date: Friday 13 May 2022
Time: 8am
Location: 16 Caryota Court, Coconut Grove

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 PDF (275.9 KB), 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) to enquiries.ocpe@nt.gov.au or:

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 8999 4282 to confirm meeting dates.

More information

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process will be posted to the OCPE website. Information on bargaining in general can be obtained at the Fair Work Commission website or you can contact the Fair Work Commission information line on 1300 799 675.

Jodie Ryan PSM
Acting Commissioner for Public Employment

Negotiations commenced

The first negotiation meeting for a new NTPS Nurses and Midwives’ Enterprise Agreement was held on Friday 13 May 2022. I am pleased to advise this was a productive meeting which was attended by representations from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), and representatives from the Department of Health and my office.

I advised that I am seeking an enterprise agreement that falls within the Northern Territory Public Sector Bargaining Policy 2021- 2024, and outlined a proposal with a wide range of improved conditions of employment.

We will work constructively in bargaining negotiations over the coming months to finalise a proposed new agreement, and it is my intention to issue a formal offer to employees no later than 20 August 2022.

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:

  • $4000 lump sum payment upon approval of the new agreement by the Fair Work Commission
  • $2,000 lump sum payments on the anniversary of the Agreement’s nominal expiry date for 3 years (i.e. 20 August 2023, 20 August 2024, and 20 August 2025)
  • A four year agreement
  • A commitment to pass on improvements if there are changes to the Northern Territory Public Sector Bargaining Policy 2021—2024
  • 3 days Christmas closedown leave, or where nurses or midwives are required to work or their work unit does not closedown over Christmas, employees will be able to bank the equivalent of 3 working days (i.e. 22.8 hours) to be taken within the following 12 months
  • No involuntary redundancies for the term of the agreement (with the exception of employees who have been surplus for 2 years)
  • No reduction in current and future entitlements during the term of the new agreement, and general employment conditions will not be varied without consultation and agreement with the parties
  • CPI increases will apply for allowances covered by Determination 1 of each year (e.g. travel allowance etc.)
  • Move the majority of leave-related bylaws relevant to the NTPS into the enterprise agreement (i.e. leave without pay, miscellaneous leave, and defence service leave)
  • War service provisions to be improved and included in the agreement
  • The Australian First Nation’s definition of ‘kinship’ will be included in the Agreement for the purpose of providing 5 days leave for kinship obligations (i.e. sorry business)
  • Move Foster and Kinship Carer’s Leave into the enterprise agreement (currently in Determination 7 of 2020)
  • Where time off-in-lieu or flexitime is not available up to 3 hours NAIDOC leave per annum to attend the NAIDOC march and approved activities
  • Support diversity at work by introducing a new entitlement for gender transition leave (4 weeks paid leave and 12 months unpaid)
  • Increase paid compassionate leave to 5 days (up from 3 days) for immediate family/household members (and a new provision to cover still born children)
  • Introduce a 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)
  • Miscarriage to be covered under compassionate leave – 3 days paid leave
  • Improve existing miscellaneous leave entitlement to allow an employee to access up to one hours paid leave per annum for mental health screening/cancer screening
  • Inclusion of ‘flexible lifestyle leave’ to support work life balance and improve the entitlement to allow the 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
  • A 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 of 2 days for preadoption interviews. Paid leave for permanent care order applications and interviews for foster and kinship carers
  • Where time-off-in-lieu or flexitime are not available, employees within 3 years of the superannuation accrual age (65) will have up to 2 hours paid leave per annum to seek independent financial advice on their superannuation options
  • Superannuation Guarantee (SG) payments on parental leave. SG will be doubled for primary care giver; and partner leave eligibility provisions will provide SG for 12 months
  • Expanded definition of ‘continuous service’ under parental leave will allow employment with other Northern Territory Government agencies, such as NT Police or the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority to count for service for service-based entitlements
  • Include principles for casual employees to have the right to request conversion to ongoing or fixed period employment after 12 months casual employment, subject to CEO approval

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

The proposals that I flagged in our discussions on 13 May, also included some topics that the Department of Health wishes to canvass during our negotiations. These included:

  • The possible inclusion of some of the relevant nursing and midwifery related determinations in the new Agreement
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Remote area nurses
  • Workplace support for breastfeeding employees
  • Casual employment

The ANMF also shared their log of claims. We will include the log of claims in our schedule of negotiations over the coming weeks.

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 bargaining process will be posted to the OCPE Webpage dedicated to Nurses and Midwives Enterprise Agreement Negotiations.

Information on bargaining in general can be obtained on the Fair Work Commission website or you can contact the Fair Work Commission information line on 1300 799 675.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
17 May 2022

I am pleased to report that negotiations with the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation have been productive, with the parties meeting on a weekly basis.

At the most recent negotiation meeting I outlined my proposals as the employer in relation to remuneration and leave. We also flagged a number of initiatives of the department of Health.

Summary of the employer proposals in relation to remuneration and leave

New offer

An offer of $10,000 over 4 years

  • $4,000 lump sum payment to be paid after the new agreement has been approved by the Fair Work Commission.
  • $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 additional 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, as normal, in accordance with rules set out by the Australian Taxation Office.

Commitment if there are 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

  • Nurses and Midwives, (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.

Compassionate 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.

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.

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.

Other leave provisions

  • 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).

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.

Nurses and Midwives – Department initiatives

  • A number of initiatives from the Department of Health were also flagged. This includes some topics that the Department wishes to canvass during the bargaining period such as:
    • The possible inclusion of some of the relevant nursing and midwifery related determinations in the new Agreement
    • Nurse practitioners arrangements
    • Remote area nurses arrangements
    • Workplace support for breastfeeding employees
    • Casual employment

Next steps

While the current enterprise agreement is set to nominally expire on the 20 August 2022 all current conditions continue to apply until a new agreement is negotiated.

The parties will continue to work constructively together over the coming months to finalise a proposed new agreement.

Have your say – your feedback is important

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

More information

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process will be posted to the OCPE Webpage dedicated to Nursing and Midwifery Enterprise Agreement Negotiations.

Information on bargaining in general can be obtained at www.fwc.gov.au or you can contact the Fair Work Commission information line on 1300 799 675.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
05 August 2022


Last updated: 10 May 2022

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