Together Medical Officers Portal

MOCA Breakthrough

Posted by webmaster on August 2, 2012

On Monday evening Together Delegates achieved a breakthrough in negotiations with the assistance of the Industrial Relations Commission and there is a new proposal for an agreement. This proposal has been approved by the government and will form an in principle agreement if it is supported by Together members.

On Monday evening Together Delegates achieved a breakthrough in negotiations with the assistance of the Industrial Relations Commission and there is a new proposal for an agreement. This proposal has been approved by the government and will form an in principle agreement if it is supported by Together members.

Initial discussions began in February this year between Together, ASMOFQ and Queensland Health but an impasse occurred in June, when the government issued an "offer" to doctors to strip your conditions. Members took action in their workplaces to wear stickers and have meetings to reject the offer and Together requested the assistance of the Industrial Relations Commission.

There followed some three weeks of tireless work by Together's medical officer Delegates involving many days of intensive negotiations sometimes in excess of 8 hours. During this time, they advocated strongly for a fair deal for doctors culminating in a second conference in the Commission.

With the Commission's assistance and based on members action and strong rejection of the offer, the government has shifted its position in a number of key issues and there is a new proposal for an agreement.

This proposal contains many improvements on the last offer from government and while it is still not all that doctors asked for it is a significant shift of the government's position. That's why your Union delegate colleagues are recommending that all Together members covered by the MOCA agreement should have a chance to vote on the proposal.

To summarise the major changes to the offer, the government and/or QH have:

  • Re-stated their commitment to the provision of frontline medical services and to the doctors that provide them.
  • Removed their claim to freeze pay increments.
  • Reinstated clauses requiring consultation with doctors about organisational change and restructuring.
  • Modified their claim around auditing the CMA/MMA allowance to protect existing SMO's whose roles have changed at the request of management.
  • Preserved entitlements for current Clinical and Medical Administrators as an all-purpose allowance
  • Reinstated a commitment to collective industrial relations.
  • Agreed to remove proximate call requirements from the Agreement (remote call provisions remain).
  • Agreed that fatigue provisions should apply in relation to "on-call".
  • Agreed to include fatigue provisions from the relevant policy in the Agreement.
  • Agreed to increase the Vocational Training Subsidy for RMO's from $1500 to $2000 p.a.
  • Agreed to retain commitments to parental leave and long service leave in the Agreement.

The wage offer remains at 2.5% per annum, for three years. This is higher than that being offered to other public servants and ambulance officers. The government have agreed to apply this pay rise from 1 July 2012 if the ballot process for the agreement is successful.

QH have also committed to a review of the MO3/MO4 classification structure and the right of private practice arrangements and to continue to discuss a Pro-rated Motor Vehicle Allowance for part time doctors.

The government have insisted on changing the EB provisions for SMO's to make it easier to roster doctors to work extended hours. While union negotiators have not been able to throw this claim out completely, they have been able to preserve the right for existing senior doctors to reasonably negotiate the requirement for such arrangements and to also ensure that access to training, quality assurance and overall services are not adversely impacted.

Together delegates agreed to seek member endorsement of the following items to provide significant productivity gains for QH and the government:

  • Increased standardisation and simplification of the agreement to reduce complexity and confusion regarding its application.
  • A collaborative process to simplify and streamline the Awards that apply to doctors within Qld Health.
  • Auditing of the CMA / MMA allowance eligibility and changes to how the allowance is calculated for new appointees.
  • Removal of red tape and barriers to extended hours arrangements for new SMO's who come in to those roles being fully aware of their terms of employment.

Please note this is a summary only at this stage - we will provide a more in depth analysis of the offer and wording will be finalised with Queensland Health.

Given this large movement from the government on key issues for Together members, it is important that you have your say and decide whether or not to accept this offer, in which case we move on to drafting or reject this offer and it is likely that the agreement would end up in arbitration. This poses additional risks for members which will be fully discussed over the coming weeks.

Feedback meetings for Together members will be held at all major sites in the coming weeks. You will also be receiving material to have your say on this new offer.

Stay tuned and remember to have your say!

PS: Remember to look out for feedback meetings in your area and also more material in the mail about the new offer - your vote is important! Email MOCA@together.org.au if you would like to host a feedback meeting for members or if you have questions.