New year more assaults
In past editions of this magazine, in interviews with media and in various communication to our members, I have made specific mention of the increase of feedback our office has received regarding assaults on members, some of a very serious nature.
Disappointingly, the trend has continued for the start of 2017. The effect of assaults can be overwhelming, on the officer, their family and their colleagues. Thats why it is imperative that we continue to push for harsher penalties for those who take it upon themselves to have a go at one of our own.
It is also important to remember, that it is not always the one offs such as these that have a negative impact on the wellbeing of our Police, but also, the ongoing, systematic exposure to dangerous environments, no matter where youre working.
More and more evidence is being presented to demonstrate that a cumulative effect of exposure to harm can play a big part on long term health. An article titled A Mental Health Check and published in the December 2016/ January 2017 Company Directors magazine, provided the following startling points as a reminder:
- In Australia alone, untreated mental health conditions are costing employers $10.9 billion each year
- People with mental health difficulties are more likely to take time off work and accomplish less than they would like to when they do go to work
- Psychological injury claims are far more expensive than physical claims, primarily because of the longer recovery times
We must all continue to do all we can, internally and externally to prevent and detect early onset of mental injuries in our workplace.
Read more about member wellbeing on page 14, including the work of Alongside and the departments Employee Support Services.
CRIME STATISTICS, POLICE NUMBERS AND POLITICS
The year has started with considerable media coverage on recent increases in crime, changes to the current youth justice system and the Territorys alcohol issues.
Weve had some success in these areas, which are covered on page 27 and we have an open letter to you from both the Minister for Police and Shadow Minister for Police on page 35.
FLEXIBLE WORKING ARRANGEMENTS
Police Federation of Australia (PFA) commissioned an Australian and New Zealand wide member survey to gather feedback on flexible working arrangements.
More than 11,400 Police Officers (16.5 per cent of the total Police Forces combined) completed the survey, the largest survey the PFA has ever undertaken.
As we know from our own members feedback, more recently in our Consent Agreement specific survey (conducted last year), flexible working arrangements and family friendly work practises mean different things to different people. Put simply, there is no one defining term or silver bullet to satisfy everyones requests or demands.
When introduced with success, flexible working arrangements can be beneficial for both the individual employee, the employer and the workplace. Its a recipe worth getting right and this survey will pave the way for best practise across the country.
The PFAs final report will be provided to all jurisdictions and available to members once complete.
2017 CONSENT AGREEMENT
Negotiations are now in full swing for the 2017 Consent Agreement. Were working hard for positive outcomes and will keep you updated on the negotiations process via eNews and Broadcast newsletters, at Regional meetings and on our website.
As we look to streamline the voting process for the 2017 Agreement with electronic voting, it is more important than ever to ensure your details are up to date with us log on to the members section of www.ntpa.com.au to check your contact details are correct.