Doctors Award– Conditions for Junior Doctors

Posted July 17, 2014

The Medical Officers Award (the large document containing basic employment conditions for Medical Officers not on contracts) is in the process of being "modernised" – that is stripped of conditions. This is part of the same legislation that introduced the individual contract arrangements for SMOs and VMOs and this process is happening across the public sector.

We have been working through a process in the Industrial Relations Commission to maintain as many conditions as possible.

The government have agreed to improve the safety net conditions in the Award to as set out below in return for certain concessions from Together. These improvement are:

  • reduction of working hours from 80 to 76 hrs per fortnight.
  • reduction of maximum length of shift from 16 to 12hrs
  • increase of minimum break to incur fatigue penalties from 8 to 10 hrs
  • insertion of both Junior House Officer and Senior House Officer to replace Resident Medical Officer at 12.4(a)(ii) of the draft (retaining progression from one to the other after a year)

These conditions are largely also retained in your collective agreement but this would lock them in as a safety net minimum into the Award.

In return, Health is seeking that junior doctors who are part time can only increment each year when they have also completed 1200 hrs. This would affect Part Time doctors at less than .6 FTE and is currently the practice for other employees other than doctors.

If you have concerns about this or have any questions please provide feedback urgently to health@together.org.au.