Improved pay offer needs clarity and confirmation | AMA (WA)


Time for a Raise

Improved pay offer needs clarity and confirmation

Friday September 16, 2022

The AMA (WA) has welcomed reports that the WA Government is set to improve the wages of Western Australia’s public sector workforce, with workers earning less than $104,000 to receive the greatest increase. After the recent announcement of public sector wage policy increases on 31 July, this is yet another change by Government that once again lacks clarity on how and if it will apply to doctors.

Media reports this week stated the Government was revising its public sector wages policy for the third time in less than 12 months. The AMA (WA) has been calling for wages policy changes to apply in its entirety to doctors, and has already written to the Premier requesting this be actioned to give doctors certainty on wage increases.

The latest wage policy should also apply to doctors, with interns and year one and two resident medical officers positioned to benefit the most. The new wages offer is reported to apply to public sector workers earning less than $104,000, with these workers to receive a $3,120 increase to their base wage in each of the next two years, plus an immediate $3,000 one-off payment. Workers earning more than $104,000 are reported to receive a 3 per cent wage increase each year for the next two years, plus a $3,000 ‘sign-on’ bonus.

However, the Government has not yet formally announced this new wages policy, nor has it communicated any details of the policy to the AMA (WA). Finding out about the new wages policy via media without any further detail is not ideal, and the AMA (WA) has since contacted the Minister for Health and the System Wide Industrial Relations offices to request more information, and specifically if the policy applies to public hospital doctors.

The AMA (WA) continues to lobby government to provide clarity and certainty, seeking confirmation that these seemingly ad-hoc and continuous changes to wages policy will apply to Western Australia’s public hospital doctors, who are an essential part of the public sector workforce.

Public hospital doctors and doctors in training have been required to work in increasingly difficult circumstances in a health system suffering from unprecedented shortages. All workers should have a clear understanding of their working conditions, including wages, and the AMA (WA) looks forward to engaging with the WA Government on this critical issue.

To read about the AMA (WA)’s recent advocacy regarding Government wages policy, click here.

To read the AMA (WA)’s letter to the Premier calling for Government wages policy to fully apply to public hospital doctors, click here.