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Registered Office

Divisional Office

All correspondence to:

GPO Box 4166 DARWIN NT 0801

PO Box 418 FORTITUDE VALLEY QLD 4006 Tel: (07) 3839 7020 Fax: (07) 3839 7021 Freecall : 1800 177 937 (Qld resident) Freecall : 1800 351 996 (NT resident) Email:

38 Woods Street DARWIN NT 0800 Tel: (08) 8981 1924 Fax: (08) 8981 1935

Thursday, 29 March 2012


CHAPTER BRIEFING No. 10 NT LUTHERAN SECTOR Positive Outcomes of Negotiations Consultation and Ballot Timetable Proposed Dear Colleagues Negotiation of a replacement collective agreement resumed on Wednesday 28 March. The further negotiations have resulted in positive outcomes for employees. A timetable for employee consultation and ballot on a document have been proposed. Background Employee representatives had been repeatedly seeking a resumption of negotiations since November 2011 to finalise the agreement. Employer representatives finally provided an updated draft of their position on Sunday, 11 March 2012. An SBU meeting was then scheduled for Wednesday, 28 March 2012. Employee representatives indicated at the outset their commitment to seek a resolution of the agreement but noted that the employer delay in providing a further draft of their position had delayed the process. Furthermore, a draft boarding house schedule had only been provided two days earlier. Employer delays in the process were putting pressure on staff who wanted to see an agreement resolved. Outcome of negotiations Technical and Clarification Matters Employee representatives pointed out a significant number of technical matters which needed to be addressed if employees’ interests were to be protected. A further list of matters for clarification were identified. Employer representatives accepted a range of these technical amendments and agreed to clarifications on most matters raised.

Employer representatives maintained their position on the exclusion of senior administrative positions from the agreement. Key Issues 

Operative Date – Length of Agreement Employee representatives pointed out that the delayed negotiations now meant the proposed two year agreement, in conjunction with the proposed wage increase dates, would mean that teachers faced the prospect of nearly two years without a wage increase and other staff over one year without a wage increase. (The current employer draft had an agreement length of two years from approval by Fair Work Australia (FWA); thus an agreement would potentially run to mid year 2014 and the last pay increase for teachers proposed was 1 August 2012 and other staff 1 March 2013.) In a positive response employer representatives agreed to set a nominal expiry date for the agreement of 31 December 2013 with negotiations for a replacement agreement (including wages) to commence no later than Term 3 2013.

Payment Date In a further positive and commendable step, employer representatives agreed to set 1 March 2012 as a payment date for a wage increase rather than an unknown date in the future determined by the date FWA approved the agreement. This is a very significant outcome for employees bringing forward a payment date months in advance of the FWA processes and approval.

Boarding House Schedule Employee representatives noted that a meaningful response to a draft schedule provided to them barely two days earlier was not positive. However, in the spirit of employees endeavouring to bring resolution of the overall negotiations a draft in response would be provided to employer representatives early in the new week. Employee representatives expressed a view that with the co-operation of the employer on the task, an agreed document could be developed within a very short time and would not delay the overall negotiations.

Time frames Employee representatives sought a timetable for employee consultation and eventual ballot on the basis of general in principle agreement on the draft as amended at the SBU meeting. Employer and employee representatives agreed on a schedule of drafting and employee consultation which would see a document released to employees for ballot on 2 May 2012 and a ballot on 10 May 2013.

General Employees can have a positive view of the outcomes of the negotiations. The advocacy of your representatives at the SBU has addressed significant technical and clarification issues in the document and reached a position with employer representatives to deal with the impact on the wage outcomes for employees from the delay in negotiations. Employer representatives are to be commended for their positive response to the various issues identified by employee representatives. Employees can expect to receive a draft, reflecting these positions, for their review in the week commencing 23 April 2012. Kind regards