02 August 2023
The Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) has expressed serious concern over the findings of the recent 'People Matter' whole-of-government workplace survey, which reveal deeply troubling trends affecting our hard-working members.
NTPA President Nathan Finn said the results are not, unfortunately, surprising and underscore the urgent need for the NT Government to take action and address the pressing issues faced by our dedicated police officers.
“These results clearly highlight that our members feel there has been little progress since the last ‘People Matter’ survey, and still don’t feel supported in the workplace by senior police management or the Government.
“The Northern Territory Government’s 2023 'People Matter' survey indicates that 87 percent of police respondents contribute to the workplace above and beyond their job descriptions, a clear indication of their dedication and commitment to serving the Northern Territory community.
“This is not a good news story, despite the survey results attempting to pass this off as a positive – but rather an indication of the lack of resources, inadequate staffing, and a lack of support from senior police executives and the Government which continue to hinder members’ efforts, resulting in mounting frustrations.
Other key concerns for the NTPA include:
- More than half, 52 percent of respondents, don’t feel it’s safe to speak up and challenge the way things are done in the organisation, highlighting that a significant portion of the workforce feels hindered or intimidated when it comes to voicing their concerns, opinions, or ideas openly;
- Only 16 percent of respondents believe that the organisation took appropriate action following the last 'People Matter' survey, and 43 percent of respondents don’t believe the agency will take action as a result of THIS survey; signalling a lack of responsiveness to the legitimate concerns raised by our members;
- Only 35 percent of respondents think that senior managers provide clear strategy and direction, and equally concerning only 35 percent believe that senior managers model the behaviours expected of employees;
- 55 percent of respondents agree, or strongly agree they feel burned out by their work, and more than half of the respondents frequently experience work-related stress;
- The revelation that 92 percent of respondents experienced internal bullying, with a troublingly low 17 percent of them making formal complaints about these incidents; and
- A significant 73 percent of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the way such complaints were handled, and 34 percent of respondents indicated they took time off work because of bullying.
“It comes as no surprise that 90 percent of respondents reported they believe the work they do is important. This clearly demonstrates our members’ commitment to the critical role of serving and protecting the people of the Northern Territory, yet they feel they are hindered in that role by a lack of resources, staff and support – as evidenced in results outlined above.
“The NTPA’s own survey conducted in February 2023 had already highlighted alarming concerns that echo the recent 'People Matter' findings. A staggering 97.5 percent of surveyed officers expressed their belief that there were insufficient police resources and staffing levels to effectively carry out their duties, while 96.7 percent of respondents felt unsupported by the NT Government.
“The 'People Matter' survey, which concluded on the 6th of June, provided a comprehensive view of the workforce's sentiments. Police Minister, Kate Worden, appeared at Estimates on the 15th of June, where she dismissed figures from the NTPA's February 2023 survey as ‘becoming dated’. We question whether the Minister had seen the ‘People Matter’ survey results before providing this commentary, and if not, what data she was relying on to make this claim – which is clearly inaccurate.
“We are demanding the NT Government and senior police management listen to the voice of its workforce and take immediate action to address the issues plaguing our police officers. It is time for genuine change and accountability. We expect the government to proactively engage with the NTPA and our members to implement meaningful reforms that enhance the work environment, provide adequate resources, and ensure the mental health and well-being of our officers is prioritised,” said Mr Finn.
2023 People Matter Survey – Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services: https://ocpe.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/1260880/northern-territory-police-fire-and-emergency-services.pdf
Please direct all media enquiries to NTPA Communications Officer, Kyrrie Blenkinsop +61 (0) 499 017 654 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) is the industrial voice of all members of the Northern Territory Police Force. Read more via www.ntpa.com.au or join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NTPoliceAssociation