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15 January 2020
By LOTTE REITER
Wimmera police officers will move forward following industrial action over a long-running pay dispute by ‘taking to the polls’.
Victoria Police members are expected to vote on a new enterprise bargaining agreement in the coming weeks after the State Government and The Police Association of Victoria settled on a pay deal.
The vote follows more than six months of negotiations between the organisations, which sparked five days of statewide protected industrial action against police workplace issues such as understaffed stations and ‘unreasonable’ wages.
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Wimmera police participated in the action, which included officers writing slogans on police vehicles and flashing their lights to warn drivers of oncoming speed cameras.
Horsham Inspector Di Thomson said once the two organisations reached an agreement, Victoria Police stopped the action entirely.
“Because of that agreement, all protected action has been lifted,” she said.
“It’s unfortunate that it had to happen in the first place, but the community was not put in any risk and police were still doing their jobs.
“It was mainly administrative interruptions so the community remained safe.”
Ms Thomson said police members were now able to access the proposed agreement in preparation for a ballot vote.
“A full proposed agreement is now online for members to read,” she said.
Police and Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville said the new enterprise agreement would provide police officers and protected services officers, PSOs, with annual pay increases of two percent, increased penalty rates and an extra two weeks of paid parental leave for primary caregivers.
She said it would also provide a phased, in-salary ‘up-lift’ for sergeants and senior sergeants in recognition of their additional management responsibilities, as well as productivity reforms to ‘modernise the force and increase the ability of police to be where they’re needed, when they’re needed’.
“This agreement properly rewards our dedicated Victoria Police officers and PSOs for their incredible work keeping us safe, while delivering a more flexible and responsive police force,” she said.
Ms Neville said if police members agreed to the offer, it would proceed to the Fair Work Commission for formal approval.
The entire January 15, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!