MOCA5: Agreement reached on better conditions and full backpay
We’re writing with good news. This week, the Department of Health contacted Together to confirm that the government has agreed they will support the 1 July 2018 backpay of our MOCA5 pay rise to settle your agreement.
There are a few reasons for the delay in confirming the backpay. Firstly, the initial offer by the Department of Health wasn't until well after the 30 June expiry of the agreement, so Together members pushed successfully to have an additional month to consider and negotiate the agreement without losing the 1 July backpay date (usually this is only offered if agreement is reached in July – the same calendar month). That gave us until 31 August to negotiate the best possible outcome for all our medical officer members.
Then we negotiated to shift the government's offer two more times, winning important increases such as the equivalent to indexation of SMO PDA. Our members had decided this was the best that could be secured in this round of bargaining and on that basis Together gave our in-principle to this improved offer by the 31 August deadline.
Had both unions met this deadline we would have clearly secured full two months of backpay alongside of your new agreement. For whatever reason, Together was the only union that met this time frame to give certainty to that backpay. Agreement to the same amended offer has now been provided by both unions. Due to the delay the backpay required further government approval, and they have now agreed to approve the backpay for doctors to 1 July 2018.
Your delegates and Together Health Team are working hard to complete the drafting of your new agreement, while the Department of Health is pressing ahead with getting all its formal processes in place to the be able to have a final agreement out to staff prior to certification. We understand that is likely at the end of this year, however we’re hesitant to speculate about timing given there have been delays throughout these negotiations.
Right now, we congratulate all the members who got involved in having your say about your new agreement. You pushed hard for better SMO and RMO conditions and won. Most significantly, many of our members will for the first time see their PDA increase, and as a 'quasi-indexation' it has been increased each year at a rate equivalent to the government's wage offer. This marks a departure from many agreements where there was no increase and sets a great precedent for indexation of Medical Officer allowances in future agreements.
Thank you to those members who contributed their time and input as part of the Together MOCA5 Steering Committee and all Together members who gave their feedback throughout the negotiations. You have helped to direct your bargaining team to negotiate the most important improvements into the your upcoming MOCA5 Agreement.
We will keep you updated as your new agreement goes through the steps to certification and backpay.