Special update: legislative change for medical officers
Earlier today I emailed all members about changes to the industrial relations legislation moved in Parliament yesterday and the launch of a Together campaign to support the Bill’s passage through the Parliament. This is a special update on the impact of the proposed legislation on medical officers.
Yesterday in Parliament the Queensland Government moved a Bill to repeal the legislation passed by the Newman Government in the dead of night to override your industrial conditions and those of every other government worker in Queensland. The draft Bill addresses the provisions that made employment security, being able to speak out about change, rostering and other important clauses in agreements and awards invalid and allows for proper enterprise bargaining processes to begin again. Further the Government announced when introducing this Bill that it will also end unreasonable and unfair contracts for doctors and reinstate the right for all doctors to collectively bargain. The Bill will be amended to repeal the LNP’s 2013 amendments which mandated contracts for all Senior Medical Officers, and precluded you from rights to unfair dismissal under the Act.
The exact wording of the arrangements for senior doctors is open for consultation through the Parliamentary Committee process and I will be seeking your input into our submissions. We are proposing a restoration of MOCA3 to all SMOs without disadvantaging anyone, allowing for a maintenance of any contract conditions above the collective agreement as part of the transition but importantly giving an even footing for new SMOs to have their conditions the same as existing SMOs.
The Government has prioritised this legislation with the relevant Parliamentary Committee to report back to Parliament on 1 June.
The LNP have already signalled that they will try to delay the passage of this Bill through the committee process. They are likely to oppose the Bill in committee and in Parliament and are likely to oppose or try and water down the amendments about doctor contracts. There are other groups already speaking out against the Bill as well like the Local Government Association.
The Parliamentary Committee considering this Bill is evenly split between the Government and opposition. There is a real risk that the committee may end up deadlocked and it won’t be able to issue a report in favour of the Bill. This is just the excuse the LNP needs to oppose the Bill or try to delay it.
Lawrence Springborg – the architect of individual contracts for doctors – can still stop this legislation restoring your rights.
Together doctors campaigned alongside other public sector workers for three years, in two bi-elections and a State election, for a Government that would treat doctors and all workers with respect. Now we need to continue to work together to make sure this Parliament acts.
We need to make sure doctors voices are heard across the State to ensure this legislation remains a priority and gets enough support to be passed.
Every MP needs to know that there is broad based support for a restoration of rights. We want them to bring on the vote!
We will be opening a process next week for members to put in individual submissions to the Committee as well as coordinating a submission from Together and working with ASMOFQ on that.
There are a range of members meetings being set up initially in Brisbane workplaces. Check for your hospital in the list here - click through to find a meeting near you. Or to arrange a meeting of doctors in your hospital or a joint union / SMSA meeting please email Dan Goldman at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch.