Bulletin 3 – Productive Negotiations – issued 5 August 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: 08 August 2022

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