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DATE: May 20, 2020

After 15 months of negotiations, the WA Police Union today filed for arbitration in the WA Industrial Relations Commission.

In its final offer, which was rejected by the WAPU membership, the State Government provided police officers with three days of non-accruable leave and two days “respite leave” to be taken from existing sick leave entitlements.

President Harry Arnott said police officers take less sick leave than any other public sector group and already had access to five non-certificated sick days.

“Police officers tend not to take these sick days because they are committed to their colleagues and community. For the Government to offer two days “respite leave” from existing sick leave entitlements is a ploy as they are aware police officers will not use them,” Mr Arnott said.

“We clearly outlined to Government the solution to avoid arbitration was an additional 40 hours leave.

“We offered the State Government the opportunity to a partial arbitration solely on leave provisions. They have been slow to accept this option, which would save hundreds of thousands of dollars from the public purse.

“We are disappointed that we had to file for arbitration seemingly because the State Government do not appreciate the unique rigours of policing.

“Anyone criticising our Members for entering into arbitration in the current climate, need to remember this process started 15 months ago and should have been resolved prior to expiry of the previous agreement on June 30 last year.”

The arbitration process is expected to take between 12 and 18 months. Once completed, an enterprise order will replace the previous agreement and be in place for two years.