The latest enterprise agreement offers paid leaves to public servants in the Northern Territory, who are undergoing gender transition, along with paid time offs to attend NAIDOC events. The budget for salary increment stays tight, says the Commissioner. The recent deal is following the Langoulant report into Budget Repair, which revealed a significant wage surge in public services. Over the past 20 years, the increment in the said sector had been reportedly exponential compared to private sectors.
Apart from Westpac Bank and Allianz Insurance policies and schemes to aid employees' transitioning gender phase, Australia's Northern Territory will be the first to offer paid leaves in the region.
According to the new enterprise agreement, the paid leaves will be provided to employees (excluding casuals) who have worked for at least 1 year and who are going through the gender conversion procedure. The phase includes 4 weeks of paid leave with 48 weeks unpaid. One can be permitted extra paid leaves, on the respective department or company head's discretion.
Apart from paid leaves, the new deal offers 3 hours of paid time off to attend NAIDOC events including march and other weekly activities. Prenatal paid time off for 8 hours to those employees whose spouse is pregnant, in order to attend doctor appointments. Two hours paid time off, annually to employees who are at the verge of retirement (above 62 years), so that they can undertake financial advice sessions.
It is reported that despite the worker union's demand to get a 2.5% payment raise annually and government's support, the Commissioner for Public Employment, Vicki Telfer is refusing salary increments, keeping the budget tight. $1000 will be paid to the public servants annually for four years to come, as a gross amount. Telfer stated, after Fair Work Commission's approval, the gross $1000 amount will be provided to the public servants every year for 4 years on the first pay day.
Unions were planning to protest against the commissioner's refusal to increase pays, but the same could not take place owing to Covid-19 restrictions.
The Australian First Nations kinship definition was formulated by prime Aboriginal NTPS representatives, after a meticulous procedure. Adding to the deal offers, Telfer stated, “The Australian First Nations’ definition of ‘kinship’ will be included in the Agreement for the purpose of providing up to five days paid leave per annum to attend ‘Sorry Business’ or related purposes". Telfer further revealed that the paid 5 days leave cannot be taken together. These leaves are apart from compassionate leaves, which can be levied at half pay and in short intervals.