16 Feb 2022
As the borders opened and the Omicron wave hit Queensland in December 2021, our industrial relations partner, ASMOFQ (the Australian Salaried Medical Officers' Federation Queensland) were working relentlessly for members.
PPE and P2/N95 respirators
ASMOFQ were in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission on three separate occasions in January 2022, advocating for doctors to be properly fit-tested for the N95 masks that they are required to use. This became even more relevant with many Hospital and Health Services (HHSs) moving to a high-risk PPE status over the last two months. Due to ASMOFQ's strong advocacy, there has been a significant increase in the fit-testing at hospitals over the last few weeks, although this would have been preferred well before the Omicron wave. ASMOFQ will continue to hold Queensland Health to account on this important workplace safety matter over the coming weeks.
ASMOFQ also had another advocacy win in Townsville HHS regarding PPE. Doctors were very concerned they were not being provided or given clear direction to wear N95 masks with all direct patient care, despite Townsville HHS being declared a high community level risk. ASMOFQ swiftly responded to these concerns from our members in Townsville University Hospital and quickly resolved this situation.
Special Leave for quarantining/isolating as a close contact
ASMOFQ has also been pushing for doctors who are required quarantine or isolate as a close contact, to be granted special leave, and not required to use sick leave (or personal leave). If you have been directed to use sick leave for this situation, please contact ASMOFQ via email@example.com so they can organise for your sick leave to be restored.
The MOCA 6 negotiations which were due to start in January 2022 have been delayed until late February, as a result of the Omicron wave. ASMOFQ has written to Queensland Health to confirm whether they have an approved bargaining framework to commence negotiations. This is an important step that must be completed before ASMOFQ formally submits the log of claims to Queensland Health for their consideration. We will provide regular updates on progress once negotiations commence.
Published: 16 Feb 2022