Working together to protect our future
 
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FINALISING THE NEW CONSENT AGREEMENT

We move now to finalise the certification process and ensure minimal delays are experienced for receiving backdated entitlements, effective 30 June 2017. This will apply to all members who are employed at the time of certification.

I also thank you for your patience in what were ultimately longer than expected negotiations, eventually resolved through the conciliation process under the Police Arbitral Tribunal. On receipt of your backdated entitlements, and reflecting on the significant long-term outcomes which were endorsed, including retaining allowances on leave and improvements to workers compensation, we now look to identifying further elements of the Agreement to improve in the next round of negotiations.

The identification of many workplace reforms underway (or about to get underway) within policing, will be critical over the next 12 to 18 months as we review the impact it will have on you, in your day-to-day roles.

A key recommendation from conciliation is the establishment of a joint working group to review and recommend changes to the way remote policing is managed and resourced. The joint working group terms of reference, are to ensure current and past experienced remote officers can contribute to strategies for improving remote policing, and rectifying the many issues affecting bush policing. This is evidenced in the ongoing lack of applications for remote policing vacancies.

Importantly, recommendations from the remote working party can be implemented as endorsed, and will not need to wait until the end of the new agreement, due to expire on 29 June 2019. The NTPA will also form part of this important process.

POLICE NUMBERS

In addition to the important follow-up work needed for the new agreement, there will be further focus on government and the Commissioner delivering enough police to meet rostering needs.

In January 2017, Chief Minister (and Police Minister), Michael Gunner, together with Commissioner Kershaw, committed to ending debate on how police numbers were counted, committing to the full time equivalent (FTE) number published each year in the annual report.

A commitment was made by Territory Labor to recruit the additional 120 FTE by 2020, and recruiting has been increased to attempt to accommodate this, including the first full time squad (ARP 133) for Alice Springs. The NTPA will be monitoring this closely, with last years annual report revealing numbers had in fact gone backwards by nearly 9 FTE.

START THANKING THE POLICE

I was once again appalled to see yet another recent article and news story attempting to pass blame for alcohol related harm within the Alice Springs community over a perceived lack of police standing at bottle shops.

It is somewhat frustrating that the same people, passing this misguided view, have seemingly lived within the confines of Alice Springs for years with little commentary on where the alcohol is coming from, including why there are so many takeaway outlets in Alice Springs. They sit silent on the very industry which has profiteered for decades on the harm and abuse of alcohol related violence, and see police as the only solution.

It is time to stop passing the blame to police, and start asking the tough questions of the alcohol industry. They sell the alcohol, not the police. It would be nice to see as much commentary from the same people thanking the police for the incredibly difficult job they do in towns where ongoing and systematic failed government policy on the alcohol industry has resulted in police picking up the pieces on the frontline, time and time again. Stop blaming police, start thanking them.

STAFFING

Finally, the NTPA has welcomed two new staff to the team, with Communications Officer, Kyrrie Blenkinsop beginning in mid- December 2017, and our new Industrial Officer, Andrea Wyllie, commencing in early January 2018.

Kyrrie comes to the NTPA with extensive experience in the media, both here and overseas, and will continue to work on all platforms of communications, including our social media. Kyrrie can be contacted at Kyrrie.Blenkinsop@ntpa.com.au.

Andrea comes to the NTPA following experience in a similar role at the Western Australian Police Union. Andrea will be your first point of contact for industrial, legal and discipline enquiries, and will work closely with our legal services provider, TGB. Andrea can be contacted at Andrea.Wyllie@ntpa.com.au.