Bulletin 4 - Formal offer - issued 29 July 2022

Formal offer by the Commissioner for Public Employment

I am pleased to advise that on 27 July 2022, I made an offer to settle the Territory Generation enterprise agreement negotiations.

We have worked hard and listened to your feedback to arrive at a balanced offer, which seeks to provide good improvements for all employees.

The below summarises the details of the offer. View the full details of the offer PDF (766.4 KB).

Summary of the offer

$10,000 over 4 years (plus employer superannuation guarantee):

  • $4,000 lump sum (gross) paid after the agreement is approved
  • $2,000 lump sum (gross) in July 2023, 2024 and 2025
  • Counts for superannuation (excluding for Defined Benefit schemes - NTGPASS/CSS).

New Christmas closedown leave:

  • A new entitlement providing paid Christmas closedown leave. Employees who are required to work during the closedown will be able to bank 3 days (22.5 hours) of Christmas closedown leave.

No involuntary redundancies for term of the agreement:

  • No involuntary redundancies for the term of the agreement (does not apply to redeployees greater than 2 years).

Commitment if changes in the wages policy:

  • Should there be a change to the 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.

Employee rights and entitlements:

  • No reduction to current or future employee rights and entitlements.
  • The commissioner undertakes that for the term of the agreement, general employment conditions specified in the PSEM by-laws and determinations will not be varied without consultation and agreement with the affected parties prior to the formalisation of an amendment.

Allowances:

  • Continue Darwin CPI increases on allowances listed in Determination Number 1 of 2022 relevant to the enterprise agreement. The allowances will not reduce if the Darwin CPI decreases.
  • Extra Duty Allowance (EDA) will be paid on periods of paid parental leave on the basis that the clause is clarified to note public holiday provisions provided for under Availability Allowance do not apply to EDA.
  • Agree to pay Team Leader Allowance on public holidays and clarify that it is payable on a daily basis.
  • Commitment to work with the GCC to understand the knowledge, skills and duties related to high voltage work that may warrant an extra allowance.

Improvements to leave provisions:

  • Compassionate leave:
    • increased to 5 days in the case of an immediate family member.
    • new provision for 3 days paid leave on the occasion of the death of an extended family member (aunt, uncle, cousin) or in the case of miscarriage.
  • Domestic and family violence leave provisions extended to include sexual violence outside the domestic setting.
  • Kinship Obligation Leave - 5 days paid leave to attend ‘Sorry Business’ or related purposes.
  • NAIDOC leave - up to 3 hours of paid leave per annum to attend a NAIDOC march and approved activities.
  • By-law provisions included in the agreement (blood donation leave, defence leave and leave to engage in voluntary emergency management activities).
  • Gender transition leave - up to 12 months leave, inclusive of 4 weeks paid and 48 weeks unpaid leave.
  • Health screening leave - one hour paid leave per year for the purpose of undertaking a health screening test associated with a public health screening program.
  • Improved war service leave to recognise injury from war-like service.
  • Improved leave for voluntary emergency management activities including reasonable rest time.

Improvements for parents:

  • Builds on current generous paid parental leave provisions (14 weeks after 12 months service, 18 weeks after 5 years services).
  • Expanded definition of ‘continuous service’ under parental leave.
  • Improvements to payment of employer superannuation guarantee contributions (SG) during the first 12 months of parental leave:
    1. SG paid during paid and unpaid partner leave provided the employee’s spouse is also an NTPS employee
    2. SG paid at double the legislated rate during a period of paid primary caregiver leave or special maternity leave (stillbirth).
  • New pre-natal leave provision -up to 8 hours 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’).
  • Foster and kinship carer leave - 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.

Dispute settling procedures:

  • Removal of the current exemptions regarding refusals for flexible work or to extend parental leave.

Union delegate training leave:

  • Removal of the existing 12 month service requirement to be eligible for paid union delegate training leave.

Flexible work improvements:

  • Ability to purchase up to 8 weeks additional leave per year.
  • Only CEOs will have the authority to refuse an employee’s request to work from home.
  • Removal of forfeiture of flextime.

Aboriginal recruitment, training and career progression:

  • Agreement will acknowledge the NTPS Aboriginal Employment and Career Development Strategy for 2021 to 2025, and Special Measures as a key policy initiatives.

Safe and healthy work environment:

  • Provides a commitment to supporting sector-wide guidelines to ensure work health and safety of employees, and providing reasonable unscheduled short breaks.
  • the establishment of a Workplace Health and Safety Committee, incorporating health and safety representatives.

Use of contractors for core work provisions:

  • The existing use of contractors for core work provisions will be maintained in the agreement and will be improved to include the Generation Consultative Committee reviewing contractor use quarterly.

Improvement to Performance Achievement System:

  • Replace reference to ‘our plan’ to ‘performance achievement process’.
  • Remove descriptiveness of process and requirement for quarterly reviews.
  • Simplified template to ensure process is more efficient.

Apprentices:

  • Hosted apprentices currently have their prior service recognised for Long Service Leave purpose however, will be entitled to new conditions of:
    • three weeks personal leave on commencement of employment with T-Gen
    • recognition of service for parental leave purposes
    • access to the Employee Assistance Program
    • 12 month contract upon completion of apprenticeship.
  • Guaranteed commitment to intake 2 apprentices a year subject to maintaining up to a total of 8 apprentices.

Australian Defence Force (ADF) service to be recognised for prior service:

  • ADF service will be recognised for prior service for Long Service Leave purposes subject to current by-law 8 provisions.

Rostered Day Off (RDO):

  • RDO provisions will be updated to include non-shift working Operator Maintainer classifications in the RDO clause.

Pay Parity:

  • Updates to the pay parity clause in descriptors will include job evaluations are only to be undertaken post significant change in role responsibilities.

Types of employment:

  • New clause to provide definitions of types of employment including ongoing, fixed term and casual.

Casuals:

  • Increase casual loading from 20% to 25%
  • Minimum daily engagement to be 3 hours where superannuation will be paid on the full 3 hours (provided the hours to not attract overtime).
  • Replacing the existing automatic conversion provisions, with principles enabling casual employees to request the conversion of their employment after 12 months.

Leave to attend industrial relation business

  • Will no longer require a summons to attend the Fair Work Commission.

Callouts:

  • Improved provisions to ensure ability to stand down employees (take a break) after attending duty while on call to limit risk of fatigue.

Maintain existing enterprise agreement commitments including:

  • Relocation - employees are not required to unreasonably relocate.
  • Shift penalties - review application of clause 76.9 regarding application of payment on public holidays.
  • Rostered days off - ability to substitute public holidays that fall on RDOs.
  • Professional Development Allowance - agree to increase in line with CPI adjustments.
  • Availability Allowance - to apply to administrative staff.
  • Travel Allowance - will continue to apply in the new agreement.

Determinations:

The following provisions currently provided for in Commissioner’s Determinations will be incorporated into the agreement:

  • Appointment above the base – Technical Coordinator and Technical Specialist designations.
  • Dual Trade Market Allowance.
  • Skills Allowance for OHS advisors (provided such officers will do field work as required which is the purpose of the allowance).
  • Casual employment (covered under types of employment).
  • Eight hour leave accrual on 12 hour shifts.

Emerging technologies:

  • Emerging technologies clause being considered.

Operational matters:

There were a number of matters raised by parties pertaining to the application of entitlements and conditions, that were addressed in bargaining either through explanation or, reviewed and improved application, such as, RDO days being able to be moved by mutual agreements, being on-call on an RDO; payment of travel allowances in advance and a letter commitment provided regarding sound recording on CCTV cameras on sites.

T-Gen will also work with delegates on key policy or operational matters such as:

  • supporting documents to explain changes to proposed agreement and support a roadshow to the regions once the new agreement is approved by the Fair Work Commission
  • ensuring frontline employees are consulted during any review following a natural disaster
  • reviewing and considering options for the transport of employees between Alice Springs and Owen Springs Power Station, and
  • the development of a reconciliation action plan.

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

Next Steps

I have asked union representatives in bargaining to provide me with feedback in the coming weeks.

More information

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process will be posted to the OCPE Webpage dedicated to Territory Generation 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
28 July 2022


Last updated: 29 July 2022

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