NT police overwhelmingly reject new wage deal

KNOCK BACK: NT Police are in dispute with the NT Government over a pay deal. Picture: NT Police.
KNOCK BACK: NT Police are in dispute with the NT Government over a pay deal. Picture: NT Police.

The Northern Territory’s police have overwhelmingly rejected the NT Government’s offer for their next wage deal.

The results of an official ballot, in which more than 1000 police officers have had their say, has shown police are standing firm.

That is more than two thirds of the police force.

In a landslide result, 84 per cent of police officers who voted on the offer said “no” to the deal put forward by the Commissioner of Police and the government.

Negotiations for the 2017 Northern Territory Police Force Consent Agreement (2017 CA) have been ongoing since February in an uncharacteristically drawn out and frustrating negotiations period.

The Government had offered a 2.5 per cent raise in wages across the public service as a blanket position but police say their jobs are different to other public servants, more hazardous, stressful and involves shift work.

Police had asked for three per cent as part of its claim.

Official results of the ballot, as per declaration are as follows:

  • • 84 per cent of votes cast rejected the offer
  • • 16 per cent of votes cast accepted the offer
  • • 1003 / 1400 votes cast (71.6 per cent)

Northern Territory Police Association president, Paul McCue said the unprecedented NO vote and high return rate sends a clear message to the government and the senior executive of the Northern Territory Police Force.

“This is an unprecedented result and reflects the government playing politics with our police.

“Put simply, the offer provided for our members to vote on was not good enough.

“This is not about money, this is about fairness.

“For reasons that the government is not declaring, it tried to push police into a four-year wage deal which means the next agreement would not be negotiated until after the next Territory election. Police wage deals are typically three years in length.

“We have invited representatives of all parties back to the negotiating table on the back of these extraordinary results, providing them an opportunity to listen to our concerns again and come back with an offer that reflects the dangerous, unpredictable and unique job our Police do every day,” Mr McCue said.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the men and women of the Northern Territory police force deserve the best possible conditions for their employment.

“We respect and acknowledge the wishes that members have expressed through this vote.

“We have tried hard to give all of our valuable police officers a pay rise that will outpace inflation, and certainty with a four year agreement.

“We listened to the Police Association and made a number of concessions to them to serve our joint aim of retaining skilled police workers in the Northern Territory.

“The Commissioner for Public Employment will now return to negotiations with the Police Association and hope to find agreement. This government will explore all options available to us to reach settlement, and we are willing to consider all reasonable claims, including the length of the agreement.”