Bulletin 22 - Australian Education Union - protected industrial action - issued 16 November 2022

The Australian Education Union (AEU-NT) have advised that its members will be engaging in protected industrial action on Thursday 17 November 2022.

While I respect their right to engage in this protected industrial action, I am obliged to advise you of the following.

If you're going to participate in this protected industrial action, you need to be aware of the following points:

  • the industrial action is only protected if you are a member of the AEU-NT
  • I am legally obliged to deduct your salary for the period of the industrial action.

Unprotected industrial action

Non members of the AEU-NT 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 AEU-NT or who may be eligible to join this union, 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 management 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 AEU-NT 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 AEU-NT are eligible to participate in protected industrial action specified for their members
  • only actions that the AEU-NT 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.

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.

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 are available on the webpage.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
16 November 2022


Last updated: 16 November 2022

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