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Monday 4 April 2022

Remuneration, resources and respite are the three central themes of the WA Police Union's 2022 industrial agreement log of claims that it's lodged.

A 5% pay rise annually, a longer rostering pattern and a right to disconnect are among WAPU's claims ahead of its good faith bargaining talks with the WA Police Force, the objective of which will be to replace their soon-to-expire agreement.

"Our remuneration claims include recognition of the positive contributions our members have made protecting WA throughout the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 24 months, the negative impacts they've endured toiling under restrictive wages policies over the past five years and their real need to experience real growth in their pay, both now and in the future," said Mick Kelly, President of WAPU.

"In December, the McGowan Government announced its new public sector wages policy would provide 'above-CPI wage rises' over the next two years. One month later, though, the Western Australian Treasury Corporation reported Perth's year-on-year CPI was +5.7%. Last week, S&P Global Ratings forecast WA to achieve an operating surplus of $7.92 billion in the 2021-22 financial year, which is nearly three times greater than the McGowan Government's published projection.

"That's why a 5% pay rise annually is one of our remuneration claims, along with increasing shift allowances, overtime rates and missed meal rates, introducing penalty payments on the significant public holidays of Good Friday and Christmas Day and insuring officers with universal private health cover.

"Our resources claims include recognition of the logistical challenges our members face due to a rostering pattern that's too short. It's impossible for them to plan their lives when they don't know their work hours more than one week in advance.

"That's why a longer rostering pattern is one of our resources claims, along with setting fair expectations for the hours of availability of senior officers, settling extra cleaning days for officers vacating Government Regional Officer Housing properties and securing cost refunds for officers forced into intratown transfers.

"And our respite claims include recognition of the need for our members to switch off from their uniquely demanding jobs when they're off duty. The right to disconnect establishes boundaries around the use of employer-to-employee communications outside rostered working hours. It's often looked upon as the individual right of the employee to not only disconnect but also not receive a reprimand for failing to connect or a reward for constantly staying connected.

"That's why a right to disconnect is one of our respite claims, along with realising the five rest days officers need to safeguard their mental health, removing the conditions around rest days to make them unconditional and redefining the weekend to mean 0000 hours Saturday to 0000 hours Monday."

The Western Australia Police Force Industrial Agreement 2021, which the relevant parties registered with the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission on Thursday 2 December 2021, expires on Thursday 30 June 2022.

Established in 1912, our membership consists of more than 7,000 police officers, police auxiliary officers and police cadets from all over the world’s largest single police jurisdiction, which covers more than 2.5 million square kilometres. We act as a passionate advocate, lobbying for better conditions and protections on behalf of our members to whom we provide services. We believe there’s strength in unity.