Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission

Commission issues statement concerning police enterprise bargaining negotiations for a replacement industrial agreement

The Commission sitting as the Public Service Arbitrator this evening, convened an urgent compulsory conference under s 44 of the Industrial Relations Act 1979 (WA) concerning the present police dispute. The Commission expressed to the parties its concern as to the deterioration in industrial relations during the course of this dispute, with the escalation of the Union’s industrial action campaign last night, being of major concern. As is publicly known, the Commissioner of Police was moved to issue a direction to police officers under the Police Force Regulations 1979 (WA) to ensure that public safety was not put at risk.

 There have been numerous compulsory conferences to date convened by the Commission in an endeavour to assist the parties to reach a new industrial agreement through enterprise bargaining. Thus far, those processes have been unsuccessful in reaching agreement. The Commissioner of Police put its final offer for a new industrial agreement to the Union on Friday, 22 September 2017. The Union’s Board will formally consider that final offer and respond to it after its meeting on 11 October 2017.

 At the urgent compulsory conference the Commissioner of Police sought orders from the Commission that all present industrial action cease and that further possible options for resolution of the present dispute be explored.

 Given the concerns held by the Commission about the impact of the ongoing industrial campaign, the cost to the community and the public interest, orders were made this evening requiring the Union and its police officer members to cease all industrial action by 12:00 p.m. Thursday, 28 September 2017. Furthermore, in response to an application made by the Union, the Commission also made orders restoring access by senior officers of the Union, to the police computer and communications system so that the Union can continue to communicate with its members during the bargaining process.

 Furthermore, the Commission has also ordered that the parties further confer and report back to the Commission by no later than 6 October 2017 on the prospect of a replacement industrial agreement. The Commission has also recommended that other steps be taken to explore possible agreed outcomes to resolve the present dispute, under the terms of the Industrial Relations Act 1979.

 A copy of the orders and recommendation issued by the Commission is attached to this Statement.

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