Important update – mass resignations

Posted March 18, 2014

As you will have heard, a meeting with the Health Minister yesterday resulted in a last minute move from the Government to provide doctors with a revised offer.

The fact that the Health Minister has come to the negotiation table is a good sign, however there’s still a very long way to go yet - and his attempts have come very late.

We intend to put the Government’s revised offer to the mass meeting on Wednesday night but without legislative safeguards we can’t see it being good enough.

Given this, it’s now clear that doctors need to start preparing for the event that the Government doesn’t deliver what’s best for the public health system.

The simple fact remains that doctors cannot sign contracts that can be changed by the Government at any moment and with no input from doctors; that strip away fatigue provisions and remove basic rights such as collective bargaining. You deserve certainty in respect of your employment conditions - and it doesn’t look like the Government’s revised proposal will provide that certainty.

With the Government having ripped up MOCA 3 a mere 12 months after it had been agreed, it’s difficult to see the revised offer being good enough unless and until we get legislative safeguards.

As a result of the Government’s actions, Queensland doctors have been forced to take the next step – a mass resignation strategy.

We’ve heard your message loud and clear – we know that doctors across the state want to start the first step of a mass resignation campaign.

That’s why attached is a resignation letter along with a range of important documents to read.

Resignation Letter
Authority to hold letter
Fact Sheet

It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean resigning on the spot. Rather, it’s a process of showing the State Government just how many doctors in the state would rather leave the system than sign up to a contract that strips you and your patients of basic rights.

We don’t want to have to submit resignation letters and we know many of you have dedicated your life to the public health system and that all of you believe the Queensland public deserve to have access to the best doctors in the public system.

However, the State Government hasn’t left us with many other options at this point.

The resignation process, and a range of other future actions, will be discussed at mass rallies in Brisbane on Wednesday and also at the ‘Pineapple’ meeting that evening. You can also call the Hotline on 1300 362 193 to discuss any of this further.
The resignation strategy will work like this:

  1. Attend the ‘Pineapple’ meeting at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday night at 7pm either in person or via WebEx at this address. All JMOs are also encouraged to attend.
  2. Read all the attached documentation and if you have any further questions, contact our office on 1800 177 244.
  3. Fill in the attached letter and send it to lockedbox@together.org.au 
  4. Together and Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation will collect and securely store all resignation letters. 
  5. If the Government refuses to return with an agreement considered to be acceptable by the state’s doctors, you will be personally contacted to discuss whether you wish to submit your resignation as part of the mass action. No resignation will be submitted without your prior consent. 
  6. Emergency plans to protect the Queensland public will be put in place in the event of emergencies. These emergency plans will be discussed with doctors in the near future. Our issue is with the State Government, not our patients and we will do everything we can to ensure the safety of the Queensland public, however it is inevitably up to the State Government to act in the best interests of Queenslanders.

We know that the state’s doctors are united on this issue and that you will not sign a contract that will result in an inferior public health system for Queenslanders.

We also understand that some doctors, including those of you on 457 Visas, are unable to resign. We will do everything we can to support you during this period and hope to have the issue resolved as soon as possible so you are not disadvantaged in any way. Your support of your fellow doctors is much appreciated. Please feel free to contact us at any time if you’d like to discuss your position further.
Finally, thanks to all of you for your commitment during this very difficult time. Together we will fight for what Queensland deserves – a public health system that has the best interests of doctors and patients at its core.

The Keep Our Doctors team