The ASMOFQ/AMA Queensland bargaining team took part in the second negotiation session with Queensland Health. In addition to a 5% salary increase per year for the three years of the agreement and increased professional development allowances, the negotiating team progressed discussion on both the junior and senior doctor claims.
The discussions focussed on some of the issues faced by junior doctors including:
- Meal breaks – Ensuring doctors have a standard 30-minute meal break clear of work commitments. Where meal breaks cannot be accessed, medical officers are to be paid overtime until a break is taken.
- Rest pauses – Ensuring Medical Officer is entitled to two 'rest pauses' – each pause of 10 minutes' duration - throughout the day.
- On-call: clarification that “proximate on-call” (returning to work within 10 minutes rather than with 30 minutes) is not a provision of MOCA 4. In circumstances where the Health Services requires junior doctors to return to work within a period of 10 minutes or less, the negotiating team explored options such as a ‘standby’ payment similar to that which Senior Medical Officers receive.
Drs Chris Turnbull, Hau Tan, Jim Finn and Suzanne Royle also covered the Senior Medical Officer (SMO) claims, in particular:
- Extended hours:
a. Concerns over extended span of ordinary hours to meet clinical demand. Particularly in light of 24 hour hospital; and
b. Provision of non-extended hours rosters (including on-call roster) provided no less than 4 weeks in advance.
- Ensuring clinical support time is made available for a minimum of 10% per SMO at an individual level, not at a department level. Ability for SMOs to make application for additional clinical support time should their role dictate.
- On-call and telephone on-call: additional payment to be received for providing clinical advice over the telephone, in addition to the current on-call rate.
Finally, an important issue facing both junior and senior doctors is digital recall. With increasing technology, there is an increased ability to work from home – a remuneration structure needs to be established, where doctors are performing work more substantial than telephone on-call but are not required to return to hospital.
All these issues are important to protect the health and wellbeing of doctors and good patient care
Negotiations continue on Tuesday 20 March 2018.
AMA Queensland is funded by members and we work for the rights of our members. Please feel free to pass this notice on to your non-member colleagues and encourage them to join up here to ensure we achieve the best possible result in the negotiations for you. Membership is tax-deductible.