Member Bulletin Number 13 2021

In this bulletin:

  • COVID-19 and mandatory vaccination – updated advice
  • 4 years is a long time
  • General EA employee ballot – vote NO to a 4-year pay freeze
  • Teacher enterprise bargaining update

COVID-19 and mandatory vaccination – updated advice
The major political issue of the past week is the Government’s announcement of a vaccine mandate for most Territory workers, including all school-based employees. We’ve continued to field a number of member queries on this issue and we will continue to address those individually.

We have also published new advice responding to many of the common questions we’re receiving. The advice sheet covers the legality of the mandate and the employment implications for those who choose not to comply.

Some discussions have taken place with OCPE, the Department of Education and CDU about the implementation of the mandate. Instructions will be forthcoming on what employees will have to do to comply.

As you may recall, we also surveyed members on COVID-19 last month. The final results of our survey are now available.

4 years is a long time…
Have you seen our pay freeze ad on TV or online yet? If not, check it out!

To highlight the impact of the government’s four-year pay freeze, the union has commissioned a major public awareness campaign, with this ad running on all major networks in prime time.

Along with the ad, we’ve created a new website, Keep Our Teachers.

We ask every member to visit the site and sign up as a supporter, and to share the word to family, friends and colleagues through social media and other means.

We must keep the pressure up on the government to abandon the pay freeze.

General EA employee ballot – vote NO to a 4-year pay freeze
Support among public sector employees for the pay freeze will be tested beginning next week. The Commissioner for Public Employment has decided to formally put an offer for a new agreement to employees covered by the NTPS “general” enterprise agreement.

An electronic employee ballot will open on 26 October and close on 12 November. Instructions on how to vote have been emailed to all eligible staff. A majority of employees who participate in the ballot need to vote NO in order for the offer to fail. If a majority vote yes, the offer will become the basis of the new agreement and the four-year pay freeze will be enforced.

The general EA covers the majority of employees across the sector, with more than 13,000 administrative, technical, professional and physical categories across all agencies. In education this includes school- and office-based admin officers, trade trainers, classroom support staff, psychologists and physicals (essentially, anyone who is an NTPS education employee and not employed as a teacher, principal or AT).

All staff covered by the general EA are encouraged to participate in the electronic ballot and vote NO to a 4-year pay freeze. By voting no you can empower the AEU and unions to negotiate a better offer.

For teaching staff, negotiations continue – there has been no formal offer yet. However, members in the teaching stream can assist by talking to your admin and professional colleagues and encouraging them to vote no and distributing the attached flyer.

Teacher enterprise bargaining update
Teacher bargaining continues with one major development since our last update. The Commissioner has agreed to our claim that all ongoing principal categories be covered in the same agreement as teachers. This commitment was made in bargaining Bulletin 4.

We will provide a more detailed teacher bargaining update in the next bulletin. Where possible, the union office will schedule sub-branch meetings to provide in-person updates throughout Term 4.

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