Bulletin 31 - Notice of Protected Industrial Action - ETU and Professionals Australia - issued 18 November 2022

Notice of Protected Industrial Action - ETU

As reported in Bulletin 20 a protected action ballot was recently conducted and approved by members of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU). ETU have now provided me with a notice of protected industrial action.

The protected industrial action notified is for:

  • An unlimited number of indefinite or periodic bans on the performance of work on scheduled RDOs (unless in emergency situations).
    This action will commence at 12:00am on Friday 25 November 2022 and will conclude at 11:59pm on Friday 25 November 2022.
  • An unlimited number of indefinite or periodic bans on new power, water and sewer customer connections.
    This action will commence at 12:00am on Monday 21 November 2022 and will conclude at 11:59pm on Sunday 27 November 2022.
  • An unlimited number of indefinite or periodic bans on the performance of disconnections for non payment.
    This action will commence at 12:00am on Monday 21 November 2022 and will conclude at 11:59pm on Sunday 27 November 2022.
  • An unlimited number of indefinite or periodic bans on performing power, water and sewer capital works.
    This action will commence at 12:00am on Monday 21 November 2022 and will conclude at 11:59pm on Sunday 27 November 2022.
  • An unlimited number of indefinite or periodic bans on the performance of LIVE work, including switching (unless in emergency situations).
    This action will commence at 12:00am on Monday 21 November 2022 and will conclude at 11:59pm on Sunday 27 November 2022.
  • An unlimited number of indefinite or periodic bans on issuing any permits (unless in emergency situations).
    This action will commence at 12:00am on Monday 21 November 2022 and will conclude at 11:59pm on Sunday 27 November 2022.
  • An unlimited number of indefinite or periodic bans on employees transferring between sections or regions.
    This action will commence at 12:00am on Monday 21 November 2022 and will conclude at 11:59pm on Sunday 27 November 2022.
  • An unlimited number of indefinite or periodic bans on the performance of work outside of ordinary hours (unless in emergency situations).
    This action will commence at 12:00am on Monday 21 November 2022 and will conclude at 11:59pm on Sunday 27 November 2022.

Only employees who are members of the ETU can participate in these actions. Partaking in protected industrial action by members is voluntary, and eligible employees are not required to participate.

Notice of Protected Industrial Action – Professionals Australia

Professionals Australia were recently granted approval from the Fair Work Commission to conduct a ballot of their members to take protected industrial action.

The ballot was successful and Professionals Australia have now provided a notice of protected industrial action.

The protected industrial action notified is for:

  • An unlimited number of indefinite or periodic bans on the performance of Temporary Higher Duties.
    This action will commence at 12.00am on Friday 18 November 2022 and will conclude 11.59pm on Friday 16 December 2022.
  • An unlimited number of indefinite or periodic bans on the performance of work outside of ordinary hours (unless in emergency situations).
    This action will commence at 12.00am on Friday 18 November 2022 and will conclude 11.59pm on Friday 16 December 2022.
  • Workers who use e-mail to add a link to a Wage Freeze Campaign website into their e-mail signature.
    This action will commence at 12.00am on Friday 18 November 2022 and will conclude 11.59pm on Friday 16 December 2022.
  • Workers to wear clothes, stickers, badges or other promotional products displaying logos, slogans and messages relating to the SBU campaign as they see fit, within the boundaries of workplace safety.
    This action will commence at 12.00am on Friday 18 November 2022 and will conclude 11.59pm on Friday 16 December 2022.
  • An unlimited number of indefinite or periodic bans on the performance of work outside an employees’ role description/indicative tasks and all job safe work procedures.
    This action will commence at 12.00am on Friday 18 November 2022 and will conclude 11.59pm on Friday 16 December 2022.
  • An unlimited number of indefinite or periodic bans on employees transferring between sections or regions.
    This action will commence at 12.00am on Friday 18 November 2022 and will conclude 11.59pm on Friday 16 December 2022.
  • The ability to discuss the current wage freeze campaign actions, and the benefits of joining a union, during work meetings.
    This action will commence at 12.00am on Friday 18 November 2022 and will conclude 11.59pm on Friday 16 December 2022.
  • An unlimited number of stoppages of answering phone calls and emails for between 1 hour, and up to and including 8 hours.
    This action will commence at 12.00am on Friday 18 November 2022 and will conclude 11.59pm on Friday 16 December 2022.

Only employees who are members of Professionals Australia can participate in these actions. Partaking in protected industrial action by members is voluntary, and eligible employees are not required to participate.

Unprotected Industrial Action

Non members of the ETU and Professionals Australia who participate in the industrial action specified for their members will be taking unprotected industrial action. In accordance with the Act, I am required to deduct salary for unprotected industrial action as follows:

  • Where the period of the industrial action is less than 4 hours on that day, the employer must withhold 4 hours payment from the employee; or
  • If the period of the industrial action is 4 or more hours on that day, the employer must withhold payment for the total duration of the industrial action.

Employees not participating in the Protected Industrial Action

Employees who are members of the ETU or Professionals Australia, or who may be eligible to join these Unions, are asked to contact your manager and advise them if you will, or won’t be, participating in the industrial action. This will enable the Power and Water Corporation to plan for alternate arrangements during the action periods.

Employees not participating in the protected industrial action may be required to perform duties in areas being impacted by the action.

It is important to note that members of the ETU or Professionals Australia have a right to take protected industrial action, and they also have a right to not participate. No adverse action must be taken against an employee exercising their right and disciplinary action may be taken against any employee displaying inappropriate behaviour against an employee who is exercising their right.

Employment Instruction 13 PDF (759.3 KB) steps out the appropriate workplace behaviour expected within the Northern Territory Public Service.

Important information for employees and members considering taking protected industrial action

While I respect the right of employees to take protected industrial action, I remind employees who are considering taking protected industrial action to be aware of the following:

  • Partaking in protected industrial action is voluntary.  Members eligible to take action are not required to participate.
  • Only employees who are members of the ETU or Professionals Australia are eligible to participate in protected industrial action specified for their members.
  • Only actions that the ETU or Professionals Australia notify me of may be taken as protected industrial action.  Taking other action that is not notified will be unprotected.
  • Deductions from salary will be required from union members who engage in work stoppages, for the total duration of stoppage.
  • Non-members who participate in any industrial action will be considered to be taking unprotected industrial action and, in accordance with the Act, I am required to deduct a minimum of 4 hours salary for any unprotected industrial action.

Please also note that during a period of industrial action employees remain subject to the code of conduct with regard to appropriate workplace behaviour. This means no bullying, no harassing, and no aggressive behaviours by any employees.

More information

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process are available on the OCPE webpage for enterprise agreement negotiations.

If you require any further information on the proposed actions and how they apply to you, please contact your manager or People and Culture Business Partner within Power and Water Corporation.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
18 November 2022


Last updated: 18 November 2022

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