The legislative changes passed through the Queensland parliament in early June remove the High Income Guarantee provisions from the Industrial Relational Act.
This means that:
- There is no longer such a thing as a High Income Guarantee Contract and your existing contract becomes a "continuing contract" which continues to apply to you.
- The terms of contracts for VMOs continue to be set by the Health Employment Directive, which cannot be amended to reduce your existing contract but can provide for an increase in remuneration or other benefits
- The Contract Advisory Committee will continue to meet to discuss issues relating to implementation of your contract, please raise these with Dan Goldman in our union office on 1800 177 244 or email@example.com
- This committee can make recommendations to the Director-General in relation to pay rises for VMOs and can have this matter decided by an independent arbiter
For many years over various periods there have been arrangements for the industrial conditions of VMOs that:
- Have been individual
- Have not entitled VMOs to collectively negotiate improvements to wages and conditions
- Have not been contained in enforceable industrial instruments
- Have not been negotiated by your union or by representative bodies
There are some significant industrial advantages to VMOs of having a registered and certified industrial agreement, either as their governing instrument or as a safety net to a contractual arrangement. These include having an enforceable safety net; dispute resolution and unfair dismissal rights in the industrial commission; the right to collectively negotiate and arbitrate wage increases and improvements to conditions; and a governance and legislative framework governing your representation in these negotiations by your union.
There are some technical requirements for a new certified agreement and award and therefore, it is unlikely that this process could be concluded in the same accelerated timeframe and the SMO/RMO negotiations currently underway. Further we need to obtain more information from VMO members about what you want as your instrument of employment and what it should look like.
For this reason your SMO colleagues have sought as part of their negotiations, commitments from Queensland Health to:
- Provide VMOs with the same pay rise negotiated by SMOs
- Provide the opportunity to VMOs to have an industrial award and to collectively bargain for a certified instrument if that is what you decide.
To discuss this further please contact Dan Goldman on 1800 177 244 or firstname.lastname@example.org.