Working together to protect our future

Yet another year draws to a close, and 2020 has certainly written itself into the global history book with COVID-19.

As we all prepare for the holiday period, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

For those on shift over Christmas thanks for being there to ensure the Northern
Territory community is safe.

During October and November, Australia showed very positive signs of getting well and truly ahead of the virus and it that positivity continues well into December, those that have missed out on seeing loved ones during the year will be able to as the borders open.

If you are one of those that might be travelling for the Christmas Holidays, travel safe and enjoy your time away from duty.

For the past few months, I have been working with Police Housing as part of the resource allocation modelling and have travelled to a number of our remote stations.

The aim of the travel was twofold, one was to source potential properties in these areas for membership increase and the other was for Police Housing staff to review the properties currently occupied and discuss any repairs and maintenance that may be outstanding with the current occupiers.

Although many of these properties are dated, by and large, they were in fair condition for their age although some need a bulldozer, not repair.

Replacement of these properties is being discussed, unfortunately it will take some time given the budget for infrastructure is slim to be polite.

I hope by now that the coffee machines delivered by Police Credit Union are getting a good work out. It was fantastic to get out and about the Territory speaking to members at all the stations I helped deliver the coffee machines to.

Whether it was at remote locations or major centers, members shared a lot of the same concerns.

One of the major areas of concern over the second half of the year has been the leave cap at 10%. What has been pleasing to note is the willingness of members to renegotiate leave in these difficult times. This has allowed more members to get small breaks and also deal with the massive workload that has been created by COVID.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, members have continually raised concern
about the Northern Territory Police Forces approach to roster changes. At the time of writing no changes had been made to move away from the 12-hour roster. I have had many conversations around rostering and nearly all the members I spoke to were happy to get through the Christmas period with the 12-hour roster. Many had, in fact, used the roster to manage end of year school events, childcare, and even organised Christmas Day.

As the NTPA had lodged a management of change issue with the Police Arbitral Tribunal on the issue of rosters, the NTPA and NTPF sat before the tribunal which resulted in the NTPF committing to a Roster Working Group so that a resolution can be worked toward. As I write this article, the Roster Working Group has been selected and will have met by the time of publishing. The aim will be to provide a long-term manageable solution that the majority of the membership are in favour of.

I have already been sent numerous suggestions from the membership which will have all been tabled at the first meeting of the working group. As this matter progresses information will be delivered to the membership via eNews.

I look forward to 2021 and continuing the work on these important issues. Again, for those travelling over the Christmas New Year period, have a safe and enjoyable journey. For those working of the period I look forward to catching up as I travel around the stations.