Update for Medical Officers

Posted June 2, 2014

With May 31 having been and gone, and with a flurry of activity up until the last minute, many members have now signed an SMO or VMO contract. If you have yet to hear about an extension of time, or are having any ongoing issues related to the May 31 date, please contact us at health@together.org.au or on 1800 177 244 for industrial assistance.

Group negotiations were held in most HHS or craft groups across the state. Once again, sticking together as a group has meant that the contracts were better than they could have been. Commitments have also been sought to preserve rights for new SMOs.

In the next week we will be summarising all the key local “wins” that we are aware of and asking you to add yours. More on that soon.

While we hope this contract framework is short-lived, it is vital that you and your colleagues are able to defend your rights under this framework as a union group. If you feel that a contract condition is being breached or that you are not receiving benefits owed to you, contact your local delegate and our office. It will be vital that we raise issues, run strategic disputes and keep the pressure on.

Amendments can be made to contracts and in some areas many promises have been made to do so. This will rely on members acting together locally to bring everyone up to the same standards.

Remember – the contracts do not come in to play until 4 August. So even though you have signed a document in the last week, the terms and conditions do not commence until August.

This also applies for those members who have not signed. All of your existing entitlements remain until 4 August, at which point those members who elected to remain on MOCA 3 will lose the “Option A, B, P, R” etc benefits.

Putting Patients First

Over the weekend we heard of more incredible, talented members who have decided to resign. We are continuing to count the losses and will for many years to come.

As part of our continued activity to fight back against these changes our Union is this week starting a campaign called Putting Patients First. Meetings will be held in most major hospitals, and you will receive invitations to attend and participate in the first part of this activity. We want to shape the political debate between now and the next election on public health policy.

Award Review

Together is making submissions to retain all current conditions. When a new draft is released by the QIRC we will write to all members seeking feedback.

As part of the same legislative reforms that brought in individual contracts for SMO and VMO members, all public sector workers conditions are being reviewed in a process called “Award Modernisation”. This should be read as “stripping conditions out of your Award”. Your Award, theDistrict Health Services - Senior Medical Officers' and Resident Medical Officers' Award - State 2012incorporates many of your working conditions such as leave entitlements, allowances and consultation provisions. You can find out more about the process here.

There is a further hearing on the Award today.

Together is making submissions to retain all current conditions. When a new draft is released by the QIRC we will write to all members seeking feedback.

A state budget will come down tomorrow and a key focus will be health spending now and in to the future.

Stay in touch and remember to contact us should you have any queries or wish to seek advice or support.

On Friday we held a press conference regarding the upcoming state budget, Channel 7 ran an interview with Alex about Doctors issues instead a link to the interview is here. The DG also made some interesting comments about amendments to contracts.