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4

M E D I C U S

J U N E 2 0 1 7

I N D U S T R I A L

SNAPSHOTS

THE MCGOWAN GOVERNMENT

has introduced a new

wages policy in which it has capped wage and salary

increases at $1,000 per annum. The new wages policy

applies to all public sector employees covered by

industrial agreements that expire from 12 May 2017. Any

new industrial agreements entered into from that date

will be affected by the new policy.

Fortunately, the AMA (WA) negotiated the

WA Health

System – Medical Practitioners – AMA Industrial

Agreement 2016

(the 2016 Agreement) for a three-year

term commencing on 1 October 2016.

Accordingly,

public sector salaried medical practitioners will not be

affected by the new policy until October 2019 or until

there is a new policy

. This includes clinical academics

and practitioners covered by subsidiary agreements

entered into pursuant to the 2016 Agreement.

NEW GOVERNMENT WAGES POLICYWILL NOT AFFECT IR AGREEMENT

Continued on page 5

THE AMA (WA)

became aware in April that Health Support

Services (HSS) disseminated two information sheets about

changes being made by HSS Payroll affecting Senior

Sessional Practitioners working on a 24/7 roster.

HSS claimed that due to a “

cultural change in how

sessions are worked

…” there was a need by HSS “…

to change how we pay WA Health Senior Sessional

Practitioners to avoid over/underpayment, rework and

incorrect reporting of hours worked

”.

HSS went further, claiming it had worked in consultation

with the AMA and “

the resolution is unanimous

” despite

this being untrue and the AMA having no knowledge that

such information sheets were being prepared.

Unfortunately, the Information Sheets did not explain

that the reason for the changes was simply for internal

administrative payroll purposes and to make sure that

Sessional Practitioners are paid accurately under the

terms of the

WA Health System – Medical Practitioners

– AMA Industrial Agreement 2016

(the 2016 AMA

Agreement). Instead, a number of practitioners who

received the Information Sheets became concerned

their contracted hours may be about to change without

consultation.

The AMA has now discussed the matter with HSS which

has provided the assurance that the project being

undertaken by HSS Payroll Services only affects those

rostered to work part of their sessions in penalty periods.

The conversion in the payroll system from sessions to

hours will allow shift penalties to be paid on part sessions

(e.g. hours worked after 6pm which attract a penalty).

It is also intended that payslips will be easier to

understand as a result of more accurate payroll

information.

HSS has provided the following specific assurances:

• No practitioner will suffer any loss of entitlements and

sessional contracts will continue to be honoured;

• No sessional practitioner will be expected to reduce the

sessions they are contracted to work; and

• No practitioner will be asked to alter their contract of

employment.

While HSS is not prepared to withdraw the Information

Sheets, it has advised that it stopped the process and now

proposes to undertake the task by:

• Working directly with the relevant site medical

administrators, wherever practicable;

• Adopting a much more concentrated focus on individual

clinical departments;

• Engaging as many individuals as practicable in face-

to-face meetings to fully explain the situation and work

through solutions;

• Individually acknowledging those who have attempted to

provide the basic information requested and inform them

when it is hoped to work on the project with them; and

• Meeting with the AMA (WA) on a quarterly basis to

discuss any issues emerging.

If members wish to discuss this matter, please do not

hesitate to contact Marcia Kuhne or Josephine Auerbach

in the industrial team.

SENIOR SESSIONAL PRACTITIONERS – HSS PAYROLL ISSUES