These are important issues for junior doctors and we need your involvement and input. Most importantly having your colleagues join you in the union and be prepared to join in campaign activity will make the most difference to the outcome of these matters.
Professional Development Assistance
Your claim was for $2000 per annum of PD assistance to interns, $3000 per annum of PD assistance to non-vocationally registered RMOs and an increase from $2000 to $7000 for vocationally registered RMOs.
Queensland Health needs approval from Cabinet for items with a cost associated with them, and this claim is likely to cost approximately $55 million over the next three years. Queensland Health has advised that it is committed to PD and training of doctors and will also be seeking approval for alternative PD proposals for you to consider.
Professional Development Leave
You asked for Queensland Health to improve access to PD leave for Junior Doctors. Options discussed include:
- QH to audit and investigate excessive balances
- Ability to cash out unused leave
- Ability to extend accrual
- Leave to not be "unreasonably refused"
QH do not support cashing out of PD leave or raising maximum accruals as these don’t encourage people using the leave, and are suggesting these are local management issues. The Department are considering providing access to PD leave outside of work hours (on a time for time basis rather than overtime) but have not yet committed to this.
Please provide feedback or tell us about local management practices regarding PD leave at email@example.com or call Dan Goldman on 1800 177 244.
Government wages policy has still not been announced but we are hoping for an announcement soon. This policy will set the wage offer from QH and the policy on back-payment of wages.
Remote work / work on call
We know that there are some areas / rotations / specialties, where there is the potential for significant work to be expected to be performed whilst on call, without attending the workplace. We anticipate that this will increase due to technological advances.
We have sought from Queensland Health that either:
- This work (as opposed to normal provision of advice while on call) is remunerated, or
- That it is acknowledged that on call allowances do not remunerate employees for performing their ordinary work from home and during the life of the agreement a model of remuneration will be developed. Further, where remote work is introduced by the employer negotiation will be entered into in relation to remuneration.
Further discussion will be had in relation to this issue.
Rosters and Fatigue
You asked for recognition that shift work, night shifts and roster patterns have a significant impact on fatigue and the health of workers and sought protections in relation to the maximum number of successive night shifts and the roster pattern of these shifts.
We have had feedback from members about 7 day stretches of successive nights versus rolling shorter blocks of nights and there are a range of factors to consider. At the moment however there are no protections.
We are awaiting a response from Queensland Health.
Security and WHS
You initiated a discussion of safety and security measures for junior doctors working nights shifts, on call or out of normal hours and the provision of safe transportation for those on call or experiencing fatigue.
The department has acknowledged its obligation to provide a safe and secure work environment and have committed to write to each HHS to remind them of these obligations and has committed to the provision of safe transport for JMOs when fatigued.
Portability of leave and recognition of service
You asked to discuss and improve arrangements for recognition of service and accrued leave when performing work for other employers during their training programs, particularly the Mater Hospital.
The department has agreed to work with your union to identify opportunities for improvement of processes in relation to these matters.