The Newman government’s attempts to push public hospital doctors onto unfair individual contracts is an attack on our public hospitals and on the rights of all those who work in the Queensland public sector.
The proposed contracts will replace existing awards and certified agreements for 3000 Senior Medical Officers and the existing agreement for 800 Visiting Medical Officers.
Public Hospital Doctors Rally
Our Rights and Conditions – Here to Stay!
5:30pm Tuesday, April 1
Parliament House, George St, Brisbane
Rally hosted by Together Queensland
The doctors’ concerns include:
• The contracts provide no protection of any basic work conditions (sick leave etc)—there is only reference to an external document which can be changed at any time
• Primacy of “operational requirements” over working conditions – doctors can be redeployed to: another hospital, a different position, extended working hours or shift work; on call as required without anything more than being told it will happen. Fatigue provisions are in an external document subject to review.
• The contracts are excluded by law from being covered by the industrial relations commission and if local dispute resolution is not satisfactory, the only option is to bring action in the Supreme Court
• Doctors may be summarily dismissed for “disobeying a reasonable instruction from the service” or “putting at risk the profitability of the service” – potentially placing financial concerns ahead of patient welfare.
• The contract is effectively meaningless as the government has mandated that at any time, the Director-General of Health may issue a directive that overrides any condition in the contract.
Decision making power within the hospitals will be shifted from clinicians to Qld Health bureaucrats, and further subordinate patient care to the LNP’s neoliberal cost-cutting dictate.
No to individual contracts—defend our public services
The doctors are just the first cab off the rank to face having their rights and conditions of employment slashed to a bare minimum under changes to the industrial relations laws brought in by stealth by the LNP government last year.
If Springborg and Newman ride roughshod over the doctors, the LNP will seek to roll out individual contracts across other sectors.
Other workers within the public health system such as nurses and physios, ambulance workers, fire-fighters, teachers and public servants will be next in a wave of so-called “award modernisation” .
The LNP wants our public services to be run like businesses—not for people’s needs.
The Cloudland Collective
A community meeting convened by The Cloudland Collective unanimously resolved that:
“This community meeting at Kurilpa Hall West End on Thursday 20/03/2014 supports the campaign by public hospital doctors against individual contracts which fail to protect basic working rights and undermine the ability of doctors to prioritise the needs of patients.
We reject the LNP government’s portrayal of public hospital doctors as greedy and self-interested, and support the doctors’ ongoing actions to protect vital conditions and the integrity of the public hospital system.”
The Cloudland Collective urges support the doctors’ campaign. If you can help build community support for the doctors’ campaign email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or contact Together Queensland.
To keep in touch, like ‘The Cloudland Collective’ on facebook.