Bulletin 3 - Offer for a new medical officers enterprise agreement - issued 29 November 2021

Negotiations have been constructive with all parties actively engaged in discussions with the aim of reaching a proposed new agreement for employees to vote on.

The proposed agreement is one of the most family supportive public sector agreements in the nation and will provide medical officers with greater certainty regarding employment conditions during the next 4 years.

The information below summaries the details of the ‘Without Prejudice” offer. Read the details of the offer.

Summary of the ‘Without Prejudice’ offer

More money on offer - $10,000 over 4 years:

  • $4,000 lump sum payment
  • $2,000 lump sum payment payable 12 months after the expiry of the previous agreement and annually during the term of the agreement.

Note: Employer superannuation guarantee is applicable to the lump sum payment. Due to the rules of the defined benefit schemes, employer superannuation guarantee is not applicable to the lump sum paid to NTGPASS and CSS members.

The lump sum payments are to be taxed in accordance with rules set out by the Australian Taxation Office.

New offer

Commitment if changes in the Wages Policy:

  • Should there be a change to the NT Government’s Wages Policy during the term of the agreement that provides for additional benefits above those contained in this offer (such as an increase to salaries above the value of the lump sum payment) these will be passed on through a determination.

Improvements to leave provisions:

  • New – 3 days Christmas closedown
    • Medical officers (excluding casuals), granted 3 days between Christmas and New Year’s.
    • Those who are required to work during this period will be able to bank 3 days for use within 12 months.
  • Compassionate leave:
    • Increased from 3 to 5 days for immediate family or household member
    • New provision for 3 days paid leave on the occasion of the death of an extended family member (eg. aunt, uncle, cousin) or in the case of miscarriage.
  • Domestic and family violence leave provisions (uncapped paid leave):
    • Extended to include sexual violence outside the domestic setting.
  • NAIDOC leave:
    • Up to 3 hours of paid leave per annum to attend a NAIDOC march and approved activities, where TOIL is not available.
  • Gender transition leave:
    • Support for eligible employees are transitioning their gender.
    • Access up to 12 months leave, inclusive of 4 weeks paid and 48 weeks unpaid leave.
  • Improved war service leave to allow access to this leave for a subsequent war service injury.
  • Improved paid leave for voluntary emergency management activities to cover reasonable rest time.
  • Include leave by-law provisions in the agreement (eg. blood donation leave, defence leave, leave to engage in voluntary emergency management activities, jury service leave).
  • Health screening leave:
    • Improved provision.
    • 1 hours paid leave per year for the purpose of undertaking a health screening test associated with a public health screening program.

New kinship obligation leave:

  • Definition of kinship to be included in the agreement.
  • 5 days paid leave per annum to attend Sorry Business or related purposes.

Improvements for parents:

  • Double superannuation guarantee payments for during paid parental leave for the primary carer.
  • Payment of superannuation guarantee for unpaid parental leave for partners, up to 12 months.
  • Builds on current generous paid parental leave provisions (14 weeks after 12 months service, 18 weeks after 5 years services).
  • New pre-natal leave provision:
    • Up to 8 hours paid leave for pregnancy related medical appointments.
  • Improved provision for employees returning from parental leave:
    • Right to return on a part-time basis for at least 6 months, where the employee so choses (replacing ‘right to request’).
  • Permanent care:
    • Improved to provide 2 days paid leave to attend permanent care order interviews.
  • Pre-adoption leave:
    • Improved to provide paid leave to attend interviews or examinations required in order to obtain approval for the employee’s adoption of a child.
  • Foster and kinship carer’s leave:
    • 2 days paid leave to attend permanent care order interviews.
  • Flexible work improvements:
    • Ability to purchase up to 8 weeks additional leave per year (currently 6 weeks) and can be taken in shorter periods under rebranded flexible lifestyle (purchased) leave.
    • All requests for flexible work, regardless of the circumstances, will require a response from the CEO (or delegate) within 21 days and may only be refused on reasonable business grounds.
  • Improvements and changes for casual employees:
    • Principles will be included to allow casual employees to request the conversion of their employment after 12 months.

NT Rural Generalist Pathway:

  • Improve the existing Rural Generalist Program Industrial Pathway in order to gain alignment to the National Rural Generalist Pathway by introducing a new classification of pre-vocational rural generalist and expand existing vocational rural generalist Trainee classifications, modelled on the National Rural Generalist Pathway, refer to attachment A  DOCX (20.2 KB) as presented during bargaining.

Restrictive duty and specialist private practice allowance:

  • During the term of the new agreement, a commitment for the parties to continue working towards:
    • Introducing a new model or alternative options for restrictive duty.
    • Replacing the current specialist private practice allowance with an alternative model.

Living payments and retention allowance:

  • Extend the living payment and retention allowance to specialists who live in Katherine or remote communities.

New professional development leave:

  • Provide 5 days per annum for Interns for attendance at approved professional development activities.

Pre-eminent status allowance:

  • Introduce a simplified process for the renewal of this allowance every 2 years.
  • Extend the eligibility for pre-eminent status allowance to rural medical practitioners, rural generalists and rural medical administrators.

New travel time for professional development leave – NT remote communities:

  • Travel time to attend professional development activities, where a medical officer resides in a level 3 remote locality.

Sabbatical leave:

  • Sabbatical leave to be extended to rural medical practitioners, rural generalist and rural medical administrators.
  • Ability to take smaller blocks of leave subject to work unit head approval.

Attraction and retention allowance – correctional centres:

  • Increase to the attraction and retention allowance for working in a correctional centre.

Doctors in Training:

  • The term ‘Doctors in Training’ to be used, replacing ‘Junior Medical Officers’.

Higher duties allowance:

  • Payment of higher duties where directed to perform the full duties of that higher classification for a period of less than 6 days.

Clinical support time:

  • Up to 25% clinical support time for specialists, including senior medical officers, to be supported within the work unit.

Protected Teaching Time:

  • Protected teaching time (2 hours per week) for Doctors in Training as core business and incorporated into rosters.

Improved rostering practices and fatigue management:

  • The principles of rostering and expected requirements to support good practice and fatigue management to be incorporated into the new agreement.
  • Rostering practices to be in accordance with fatigue management principles.
  • Doctors in Training attending specialists rounds to be included in rostered work time.

Improved overtime processes:

  • Operational introduction to trial electronic variance form to improve overtime applications.
  • Contemporised unrostered overtime provisions including clear approval requirements.

Returning to NT Health after a period of absence:

  • Parental leave - extend parental leave provisions where a medical officer who has 12 months service and returns to NT Health within 4 years of absence whilst working for a recognised employer.
  • Long service leave - where a medical officer undertakes a recognised vocational training program may be eligible to access long service leave provisions.

Next steps

I have asked ASMOF (NT) to provide me with feedback in the coming weeks.

Have your say – your feedback is important

Should you wish to express a view on the proposals you can provide your feedback to me by emailing enquiries.ocpe@nt.gov.au.

More information

Regular updates in relation to the bargaining process are available on the OCPE website.

Vicki Telfer PSM
Commissioner for Public Employment
29 November 2021

Last updated: 04 May 2022

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