19 May 2022
This week’s MOCA 6 negotiation meeting focused on the critical issues facing our rural and remote doctors.
The current system is not working and is plagued by inadequate numbers of doctors, unmanageable workloads, widespread fatigue and burnout, low staff retention, poor attraction of trainees, and a heavy reliance on locums.
ASMOFQ considers the situation for rural and remote hospitals to be dire and unsustainable. Doctors are doing their utmost for their patients and communities but are burning out. Eventually, they will be forced to quit when they have nothing left to give.
In addition to our usual negotiation team, ASMOFQ invited several members who work in rural and remote areas (both senior and junior doctors) to speak first-hand about their plight.
During the meeting, ASMOFQ discussed a multitude of items, including:
- alignment of MSPP/MOPP entitlements to that of SMOs (parity)
- indexing of inaccessibility allowances
- greater ability for part-time appointments
- recognition of FRACGP and FACRRM as specialties (and progression beyond L18)
- specialist GPs should receive 50% attraction and retention allowances
- consistent reimbursement of relocation costs, particularly for doctors in training
- accommodation that is provided to doctors be of a decent standard, and suitable for families
- appropriate supervision of and support for junior doctors working in R&R locations
- other measures such as multi-year contracts for doctors in training to incentivise careers in rural and remote medicine
Rural and remote doctors deserve recognition and respect for the invaluable service that they provide their patients and communities, and ASMOFQ will fight for tangible action to make the system functional and viable.
9 May 2022
ASMOFQ met with Queensland Health on Monday 9 May for the sixth meeting of the MOCA 6 negotiations.
Since the start of negotiations, ASMOFQ has been raising the significant issues of unsafe workloads and fatigue that our doctors have been enduring for years, even before COVID. We know that there is a chronic shortage of doctors in the system, and we simply need more.
Having failed to make any meaningful commitments to address these serious issues in previous meetings, Queensland Health are now proposing changes to MOCA 6 that may force senior doctors to work extended hours shifts without their agreement (evening or weekend shifts outside the ordinary hours of 7:30am-6pm, Monday to Friday).
Currently, under MOCA 5, any such change to the roster would require the agreement of senior doctors. ASMOFQ fought hard for this protection in previous years during MOCA 4 and MOCA 5 negotiations.
Queensland Health’s proposal to address workforce shortages is to work doctors even harder, and pay them less.
ASMOFQ is strongly opposed to this, as it would significantly reduce the employment conditions of our members. It is simply unacceptable.
Furthermore, Queensland Health have proposed a schedule, which would see negotiation meetings to discuss the items on our log of claims extend into July 2022, well beyond the expiry date of the current agreement on 30 June 2022. While MOCA 5 will continue to operate past this date, ASMOFQ is dissatisfied with the progress so far and Queensland Health needs to do more to move these negotiations forward.
ASMOFQ has additional concerns with respect to these negotiations, including:
- lack of confirmation about whether Queensland Health has an approved bargaining framework;
- lack of response by Queensland Health to specific issues raised during meetings;
- lack of support for our rural and remote representatives – in previous MOCA negotiations Queensland Health have paid for these doctors to attend in person, but they have refused to do so for these MOCA 6 negotiations; and
- issues with the timely circulation of meeting documents and agendas, technical issues with online meetings (particularly poor audio quality), meetings being held with extraneous noise nearby, and the accuracy of minutes that are maintained by Queensland Health.
ASMOFQ will continue to negotiate in good faith, and hold Queensland Health to account to do the same. Doctors have gone above and beyond during the COVID pandemic, and ASMOFQ will oppose any attempt to reduce our working conditions.
18 March 2022
A few weeks ago, ASMOFQ sent the MOCA 6 log of claims to all members for review and feedback.
Through this process, we have received further input from members on our log of claims, and have compiled an additional set of items to add to our log of claims, which you can review here.
ASMOFQ will meet with Queensland Health next week on Monday 21 March to formally commence MOCA 6 negotiations.
We will keep you updated regularly as these negotiations proceed.
23 February 2022
The first MOCA 6 meeting was held on Monday 21 February, attended by our ASMOFQ team and Queensland Health. We discussed logistical matters pertaining to the bargaining process, as well as issues relevant to bargaining for:
- junior medical officers/doctors in training
- senior medical officers
- visiting medical officers
- MSPPs and MOPPs
- rural and remote doctors.
Meetings are currently scheduled for every second Monday, and additional meetings will be organised as required.
Both parties committed to bargain efficiently and in good faith throughout the course of the negotiations.
More importantly, we have attached our current ASMOFQ Log of Claims for members to review. The Log of Claims is the culmination of many months of hard work, and we encourage our members to read it carefully and provide us with any final feedback by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will submit our Log of Claims to Queensland Health prior to the next MOCA 6 meeting in early March.
16 February 2022
The MOCA 6 negotiations which were due to start in January 2022 have been delayed until late February, due to the Omicron wave. We have written to Queensland Health to confirm whether they have an approved bargaining framework to commence negotiations. This is an important step that needs to be completed before we formally submit the log of claims to Queensland Health for their consideration. We will provide regular updates on progress once negotiations commence.
3 December 2021
ASMOFQ (the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation, Queensland) is the only union run by doctors, for doctors. ASMOFQ exists to improve the working lives of its members and will be fighting for members’ rights, pay and conditions through the MOCA 6 bargaining process.
What is MOCA?
MOCA 5 is the Medical Officers’ Certified Agreement which contains all the entitlements and conditions of employment for over 10,000 junior and senior doctors who work for Queensland Health.
It will expire in just over six months, on 30 June 2022.
Bargaining commences January 2022
ASMOFQ will begin negotiating a new agreement with Queensland Health, with these meetings set to begin in January 2022.
As the MOCA is part of your employment contract with Queensland Health, it is important to have expert industrial staff to negotiate on your behalf and get it right. If you had to negotiate an individual contract by yourself against a huge employer such as Queensland Health, you would undoubtedly be at a huge disadvantage.
In 2014-15, the Newman Government forced doctors from a certified agreement (MOCA 3) to individual contracts, which were unfair and left doctors worse off with regards to workplace protections and conditions. With a change in government, doctors were changed back to being employed under a certified agreement (MOCA 4), and subsequently MOCA 5 (the current agreement).
ASMOFQ is a bargaining representative
Who is your bargaining representative?
Under the Queensland Industrial Relations Act, a union like ASMOFQ, who covers Medical Officers, is a bargaining representative. This means that ASMOFQ represents you because of your membership of the union and AMA Queensland.
The make-up of ASMOFQ at the Bargaining Table for MOCA 6
• ASMOFQ Principal Officers and Committee Members
• Members from the AMA Queensland Council of Doctors in Training
• Members from the AMA Queensland Visiting Medical Officers Committee
• ASMOFQ Industrial Officers
Log of Claims – ASMOFQ
What is a Log of Claims?
A Log of Claims is a document which sets out the claims members of the Union are making in a certified agreement (collective bargaining) negotiation. The Log of Claims will relate to the improvements to pay and conditions that Union members are seeking out of the bargaining process.
ASMOFQ has been working with members, including Resident Medical Officers, Senior Medical Officers, and Visiting Medical Officers, for over 12 months to develop the Log of Claims.
Before ASMOFQ finalises the Members’ Log of Claims and provides this to Queensland Health, we request that you submit any items that you wish us to consider as soon as possible via email to email@example.com
Finally, if you have any further questions, please contact John Cosgrove, Executive Director, or Laura Gowdie, Senior Industrial Advocate, on (07) 3872 2222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re not already a member of ASMOFQ and AMA Queensland, then sign up today to fight for fair pay and conditions in your workplace.