Member Bulletin Number 4 2021

In this bulletin:

  • Government wants you to accept a 4-year pay freeze
  • Enterprise bargaining underway
  • Branch Conference – only one day left to register!
  • Applications open for Rosemary Richards scholarship

Government wants you to accept a 4-year pay freeze
The NT Government has released its 2021-2024 public sector bargaining policy. It confirms what was in the 2020 Budget: a freeze on all public servant salaries until at least 2025.

The only additional remuneration on offer is a $1000 annual bonus to employees that will be taxed and which will not be applied to your increment level. That means your base salary will not increase until at least 2025. All allowances will be frozen.

The freeze will cost members in a big way, not just over the four years but throughout your career as salaries fall behind. Our modelling shows that CT9s will be cumulatively worse off in gross salary over the four years by $30,000 compared to if they received 2.5% annual increases (this doesn’t even factor in loss of allowances). Even assuming 2.5% pay increases kick in again after four years, the four-year freeze means that after 10 years a CT9 will have lost a cumulative amount in salary of more than $100,000.

The effect will be felt in superannuation as well because super contributions are indexed to salary. In the same scenario as above, an employee will have missed out on more than $12,000 in additional super.

None of this is a foregone conclusion. To impose the pay freeze, the Government must convince a majority of employees covered by each enterprise agreement (EA) to vote in favour of a 4-year freeze. Our union along with public sector allied unions will not accept this and will be asking you to mobilise in various ways in the coming months to demand a fair offer from government.

Enterprise bargaining underway
Bargaining for a new enterprise agreement (EA) for members covered by the “general” EA begins today. The AEU will be bargaining for our school support staff members such as SESOs, psychologists and trade trainers.

This agreement covers more than half the public sector and many of the matters covered will have ramifications for the teacher EA to follow. Negotiations for the teacher agreement will begin in May.

Thank you to the many members covered by the general EA who have responded to our member survey. More than half of our membership has completed the survey and your responses will give us valuable information in bargaining. We are finalising our log of claims to submit for the general EA and will circulate this to members next week.

For teacher members, keep an eye on your emails next week. You will receive an invite to complete your bargaining survey. Last time we received more than 800 responses which allowed the bargaining team to learn a lot about your working hours, workload pressures and other employment conditions, and in turn use this information to our advantage in bargaining.

Branch Conference – only one day left to register!
Registrations are flowing in for our annual Branch Conference in Alice Springs on 1-2 May and there is now just one day left to register. This Conference will finalise our log of claims for teacher bargaining and provide a launchpad for those negotiations, so it is important we maximise representation from sub-branches across the Territory.

Delegates must register online by Friday 19 March. Failure to register by that date means you are ineligible to attend as a voting delegate under our rules. There may be capacity for members who wish to attend to do so as proxy delegates or observers – please contact the office for more information.

Your sub-branch must also submit any matters you would like to be discussed at Conference by the same date – these should be emailed to [email protected]. It may be helpful to consult the decisions from last year’s Conference for ideas on topics. As this is a bargaining year, we encourage sub-branch motions to focus on EA-related matters.

Applications open for Rosemary Richards scholarship
Applications for the 2021 Rosemary Richards Scholarship are now welcome with a closing date of Friday 7 May, 2021. Information about applying is available at the AEU Federal website.

This is an opportunity for an AEU woman member with an idea for an innovative project, research or study experience that will increase her skills and experience in the union’s work at state/territory, national or international level. By extension, it should also support the AEU’s women members. The scholarship is valued at $10,000 and is intended to cover all project expenses including, but not limited to, travel, attendance at conferences, workplace visits, training and developmental opportunities, work-shadowing, research, project design and implementation. All women AEU members are welcome and encouraged to apply.

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