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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
On 19 December 2012, the Association lodged a log of claims on the Minister for Health on behalf of medical practitioners employed in the public sector.
Negotiations between the Association and the Department of Health (DOH) have been ongoing since March 2013. The negotiations have been difficult given the state of the economy, the loss of WA’s AAA credit rating and the recent bargaining outcomes for medical practitioners in the Eastern states. Despite these difficulties, the Association has now reached a formal agreement with the DOH.
The fact sheets below provide an overview of changes applying to salaried Senior Medical Practitioners and Doctors in Training employed throughout the public sector.
AMA (WA) Executive has called a General Meeting of salaried doctors to be held on 24 October 2013 at FJ Clark Lecture Theatre, SCGH, at 6-8pm to discuss actions to take in response to the offer made by Government.
We encourage members to attend this important meeting to express their views to the AMA (WA) which will conduct further negotiations on your behalf.
A comprehensive claim for new agreements was served on the Minister for Health on 19 December 2012. The claim applied to doctors employed under the following agreements:
• Department of Health Medical Practitioners (Metropolitan Health Services) AMA Industrial Agreement 2011
• Department of Health Medical Practitioners (Clinical Academics) AMA Industrial Agreement 2011
• Department of Health Medical Practitioners (WA Country Health Service) AMA Industrial Agreement 2011
• Department of Health Medical Practitioners (Drug and Alcohol Office) AMA Industrial Agreement 2011
• Department of Health Medical Practitioners(Director General) AMA Industrial Agreement 2011
The claims have been exhaustively discussed with the Department of Health’s representatives since the first meeting held on 8 March 2013. The Department’s lack of willingness to finalise claims and put a written offer to the AMA (WA) resulted in unnecessarily protracted negotiations beyond the expiry date of all Agreements (30 September 2013).
The Association noticed a more positive attitude from the Department of Health following the AMA (WA)’s comprehensive submission to Treasury on interstate comparisons of doctors’ salaries in response to simplistic comparisons that were prepared by the Department of Health and after correspondence and meetings with the Acting Director General of Health. Indications of a positive offer were made in late August. This verbal offer included meeting the AMA(WA)’s claim of a 12% pay increase over 3 years.
However, the traditional obstructive approach was again adopted from mid September coinciding with the Government’s loss of its AAA credit rating.
On 5 October, 5 days after the expiry of the above Agreements, the Department of Health made an offer that barely keeps up with inflation. It offered:
• A term of 3 years for replacement agreements from 1 October 2013 to 30 September 2016;
• A 2.5% salary increase from the first pay period on or after 1 October 2013;
• A 2.5% salary increase from the first pay period on or after 1 October 2014;
• A 2.5% salary increase from the first pay period on or after 1 October 2015;
• Doubling of the current Head of Department Allowance including a formalised appointment process with defined duties and responsibilities;
• Existing subsidiary agreements are preserved and “carried forward with agreed escalation of rates”.
The Department’s offer includes the potential to negotiate wage outcomes of up to 11%:
• 3.75% from the first pay period on or after 1 October 2013;
• A further 3.75% from the first pay period on or after 1 October 2014; and
• A further 3.5% from the first pay period on or after 1 October 2015.
The above 11% option offer is subject to negotiating “real efficiencies” arising from new agreements. The Government has put forward some proposals regarding such “efficiencies”.
In December 2012, the AMA (WA) provided the Minister for Health with a log of claims for replacement agreements for Salaried Medical Practitioners employed in the public sector.
The AMA (WA) has now commenced a new round of negotiations for Enterprise Bargaining Agreements. The majority of the Agreements are due to expire effective 30 September 2013 and your AMA is gearing up for the beginning of the next round of bargaining in order to achieve the best possible pay and conditions for Salaried Medical Practitioners.
Private sector agreements will be concluded within the same timeframe and the Association will also be commencing discussions with the respective employers to progress these claims.
The Association will seek to keep its members informed of progress and at times it may be necessary to consult with members about specific aspects of the claim. This may be achieved by way of a poll of the membership, via the AMA (WA) Committees, teleconferences and email correspondence.
Help make this round of collective bargaining across health successful for you, your colleagues and your professional Association by participating in the bargaining activities and campaigns.
Make sure you stay informed and have your say.
The AMA will post updates about the negotiations following each meeting.
For more information, or to contribute to the negotiations, please contact the AMA (WA) Industrial Team at email@example.com or phone 9273 3000.
The following public sector agreements are currently subject to negotiation with the Department of Health.
The AMA (WA) continues the difficult process of negotiating new agreements to replace the Department of Health Medical Practitioners (Metropolitan Health Services) AMA Industrial Agreement 2011 (the 2011 MHS Agreement) and other public sector agreements applying to clinical academics and to doctors employed by WACHS, Director General of Health and Drug and Alcohol Office. The AMA is seeking a common operative date for all agreements to secure pay increases from 1 October 2013 for doctors employed under all agreements.
Negotiations up to the time of writing have not resulted in agreement on anything but very minor issues. The Government has made no offer and will not indicate when an offer is likely to be made.
The AMA wrote to the Acting Director General on 8 July 2013 urging that an offer be made as soon as possible following extensive negotiations over four months in relation to a claim that seeks moderate and sustainable pay increases and changes to terms and conditions of employment that are designed to improve performance and administration.
Meanwhile, the AMA has prepared a submission to Treasury presenting a comprehensive picture of interstate rates applying to doctors, including qualifiers that apply to all rates, in response to simplistic comparisons that have been prepared by the Department of Health upon which the AMA anticipates that Treasury will rely in approving salary increases.
The Association has held six meetings with the Department of Health, on 30th April, 17th May, 31st May, 14th June and 28th June since the last update. The discussions relate to all public sector medical practitioners (those employed by the MHS, the Director General, Alcohol and Drug Authority, WACHS and those employed as Clinical Academics by both UWA and the MHS).
The Department has yet to provide the AMA with any further draft clauses, although we are expecting the following clauses shortly:
The Association has also sought clarification from the Department as to why they have not agreed to the changes sought for DiTs in the Hours and Roster clauses. These issues remain in dispute.
Much of the focus of the last few meetings has been on the AMA’s proposed changes to private practice arrangements and clarifying comparable rates of pay with other states for both Senior and Junior Practitioners. At this stage, there has been no agreement and it is likely that private practice arrangements in particular will be the subject of further discussion. At the same time, there will be further discussion on a range of other issues such as Head of Department Allowance, clinical and non-clinical duties and removing the requirement for DG approval for sessions beyond 5 per week.
At the most recent meeting, held on 28th June, the AMA (WA) presented the Department with logs of claims specific to the WACHS and Clinical Academic Agreements. At this early stage, there has been no agreement on these claims. These logs were developed following further consultation with members who are employed in accordance with these Agreements.
The AMA (WA) has asked that the Department provide the Association with a formal offer. We expect that discussions at the next meeting, to be held on the 12th July, will focus on the Department’s responses to our claim.
The Department has indicated that they are planning to make submissions to Treasury to seek sign off on a quantum that can be made. Given the information, the Association has obtained from representative from the other State AMA’s we have made it clear that the Association will be providing a formal submission to Treasury regarding the value or otherwise of the rates provided in the other States.
Should you require further clarification regarding aspects of the claim or progress to date please contact the Association on 9273 3000.
Following the last 2 meetings with the Department of Health held on 23 March and 8 April, the Department has provided draft clauses on:
None of the above proposed clauses address the AMA claims and are not agreed.
The Department has also proposed a new standard clause (utilised in the recent public sector agreement) on
This clause is likely to be agreed although the AMA believes that many such clauses are already available to practitioners as they are standard conditions across the public service and it would be rare for a Public Sector employer to not apply them. However, for completeness sake the Association is unlikely to oppose their inclusion.
There have been discussions about a number of other issues but no progress has been made to date.
At the first meeting, held on 8 March 2013, agreement was reached on the following clauses, subject to the final terms of the agreement as a whole:
The Department of Health (DoH) advised that the key issues it wants addressed in the 2013 agreement are related to:
AMA (WA) have requested a list of clauses for standardisation and the draft clauses from DoH.
The following private sector agreements are currently subject to negotiation or negotiations will commence shortly with the relevant private sector organisations.
The current Australian Red Cross Blood Service Western Australian Medical Officer Employee Collective Agreement 2010 expires on the 30 June 2013.
The Association advises members that following meetings of members that the Association has served its Log of Claim upon ARCBS for a new Enterprise Agreement.
The claim is for a 14% salary increase over three years and an undertaking from ARCBS that it will continue to maintain parity with the Department of Health Medical Practitioners (Metropolitan Health Services) AMA Industrial Agreement.
Whilst there has been preliminary discussions with Management of ARCBS there will need to be in depth negotiations which should commence within the next two to three weeks.
Further updates will be provided to members as negotiations proceed.