Medical officers: Quick update on contracts

Posted on February 6, 2015

I am being regularly updated on the vote counts but it certainly still looks like there will be a change of government in Queensland and that we will have a new Health Minister, probably, next week.

It is deeply distressing that it is required but excellent to see that colleagues from the Lady Cilento are continuing to raise their concerns and lobby for their patients and the community despite the strictures of the contracts. I know we are all wishing them well from outside the room today and look forward to seeing prompt action to address their concerns.

Contracts Roll-Back/Rights Restoration

We are ready to engage with the new Minister and government about rolling back the damage done by the unfair contracts and beginning to heal the health system.

Together members have been at the forefront of the community debate about fairness and rights at work and we will be pursuing the commitments we have to restore our rights with the new government.

We have secured commitments from Peter Wellington MP, Katter’s Australia Party and the ALP about industrial relations reform.

Yesterday Peter Wellington announced he will support an ALP government.

The commitment to Together members before the election is to end unfair and unreasonable individual contracts and reinstate collective bargaining and unfair dismissal rights for all doctors.
At this stage there is still no outright winner with 45 seats though – so we are still in caretaker mode.

With 45 MPs who back us restoring our rights at work we can expect a repeal of the amendments to the Industrial Relations Act made in 2013 which mandated the contracts and precluded SMOs from rights to unfair dismissal and collective bargaining.

What we don’t want is change rushed through Parliament at midnight like under the previous government, so this legislative change will take time to get right. We anticipate that the reinstatement of industrial rights for doctors will be done in stages beginning, very likely, with changes to administrative instruments such as the Health Employment Directive and remuneration framework that currently governs our employment.

Immediate action by the new Minister and the Director-General will be required on "day one".

I will be attending meetings in Brisbane next week about these measures and will be able to report back to members about developments as they occur.

I will continue to raise the issues about lack of payment for public holidays and the double standards that are emerging with these payments and others.

We want clarity on conditions of employment, and an ability to collectively negotiate changes when they are required.

We will be able to achieve this by working together now and raising our issues - get in touch with me or if you have particular matters to raise either urgently or at a later date.

1800 177 244