Working together to protect our future

In 2018, I started with the Northern Territory Police Association and have seen many changes take place within the Northern Territory Police Force throughout the past three years, some of which have been good but sadly many have been to the detriment of our members.

It upsets me to say that at what may be some of the darkest and most disheartening times for our members, I am hanging up my hat as the NTPA Industrial Officer and relocating back to Western Australia to be with my children. It was a tough decision to make as I have loved every minute of serving our membership. I have enjoyed taking up the fight for those who just did not know how to do so themselves, but I, unlike our membership, have not signed up to a job where it is seemingly required to put service before yourself and as I have been without my children for 12 months now, I cannot do so any longer.

I reproduced my article from 2018 in our last edition of the Police Magazine highlighting that again nothing seems to have changed when it comes to the welfare of our members and how they are treated in those times when an alleged mistake has occurred, no matter how minute. Our members have been, and continue to be, overworked and placed under extreme pressure every single day they put on their uniforms.

There continues to be a strong feeling among many members of a complete lack of support from some of the Senior Executive, which is affecting morale considerably. We have had many instances too many to count, where the poor morale of the Police Force has been highlighted by the Association and several media outlets, and conveyed to the Senior Executive and Minister, only to find it gets completely denied and considered to be mistruths with no evidence having been found to support such claims.

Those members who are working at the coal face know exactly what I am talking about. You go to work and do what you are supposed to do because this is what you signed up for, only to find that when you need support and backing from your bosses it often just simply isnt there. That is the feedback directly into our office. Rightly or wrongly, perception is reality in this case.

The incident that occurred late last year seems to be the straw that broke the camels back with many members now questioning why they are even coming to work if they feel like there is no support when things get to the pointy end. This seems to be when things went even further downhill with, once again, new policies and procedures being introduced without any consultation with the affected members many of whom have been doing their roles for over 20 years, let alone proper consultation occurring with the NTPA.

I spoke with one member just recently who is an expert in their field, who explained it the most basic of terms there is process and procedure for getting desired outcomes, and when the decision makers come in and determine that they have a new desired outcome process they believe is best there appears little interest in discussion and understanding of how things have been previously been done just simply this is what has been determined and this is how it will now occur.

Our members have enough pressure placed on them within their workplace, with extreme backlogs of work needing to be undertaken in all work areas let alone then being told ignore everything else before and do it this way. Its once again putting the cart before the horse and nothing seems to have changed with the new structure compared to how it has been in previous years.