Your Hospital and Health Service (HHS) has provided to you or will
soon provide to you information about the individual contract that is being
offered to you.
You will be asked to sign the proposed contract by
30 April 2014. You are not required to sign the contract when you get it
or at all. You can, if you wish, ask to attend a meeting with your HHS
representative to discuss your proposed contract, in particular the
negotiable terms of your contract.
This information sheet offers
some practical guidance to assist you in considering your contract and
whether you should attend a negotiation meeting.
Will each HHS follow the same
should I do when I get my individual contract information?
Should I sign
the contract without attending a meeting?
How will I be advised
when my meeting will be?
Can I seek advice prior to the
I take a support person to the meeting?
if the proposed meeting time does not suit me or my support person?
I have anything to lose by attending a negotiation meeting?
Do I have to sign the
contract in the meeting?
Do I need to attend the meeting?
will be attending the meeting from the HHS side?
What elements of the
contract are negotiable?
What is the time frame for
the negotiation confidential?
Can I talk about what I
want in the meeting?
What questions should I
ask during the meeting?
information should I have before I attend the meeting?
What can I start doing now to
do I know whether I will be better or worse off under the new contract?
will I know what I will be paid under the contract?
How can I work out
whether my pay will be reduced?
How do I work out what I
should be paid now?
How do I
know what I have actually been paid in recent years?
How will my future remuneration
will happen to my superannuation?
What will happen
with private practice arrangements?
Can I elect to have
overtime paid as I work it?
How do I know how I
should have my overtime paid?
How do I know
what my position description should say?
How will the HHS set
my Key Performance Indicators?
This all sounds
like a lot of work. Is it worth it?
Should I sign the contract?
am a SMO. What happens if I don’t sign a contract?
I am a VMO. What
happens if I don't sign a contract?
What happens if I don’t sign a
contract by 30 April 2014?
want to resign rather than sign a contract? When should I resign?
I seek assistance from Avant?
Will Avant provide further
No, not necessarily.
Each HHS is responsible for determining its own contract and negotiation
process and the negotiable terms and conditions of employment for individual
Some HHSs have engaged external consultants to assist with
the distribution of proposed contract information, the negotiation meetings
and the contract preparation process.
should read the information that has been provided to you by your
HHS (including the information which is available on the
website) so that you know what terms and conditions are being offered to
you. You should seek further information from your HHS if you do not believe
you have enough information.
If you have any questions about the
terms and conditions being offered to you, you can seek advice and
information from Avant and others.
Should I sign the contract without attending a meeting?
you have read the proposed terms and conditions of employment, you understand
them and you accept them for your ongoing employment, you can choose to sign
However, if you have questions about the contract or
wish to negotiate with your HHS about particular terms and conditions, you
should consider attending a negotiation meeting with your HHS
Some HHSs have taken preliminary steps
to arrange meetings. Others have not yet started this process.
Each HHS will determine its own arrangements for the meetings once a
doctor has expressed interest in attending a meeting.
You can seek
advice from Avant, your industrial association or another person such as an
Yes. You can take a
support person, such as a union representative or lawyer. These guidelines provided by the Department of Health
explain the role such representatives can play.
You can ask the HHS representative to arrange an alternate meeting time.
You are under no obligation to agree to anything or sign anything
at the meeting. You are there to have a genuine discussion with the HHS
representative about your proposed employment terms and conditions. Your
attendance at the meeting is not your consent to the terms and conditions
No. You should not
sign any contract until you understand its terms and agree to be bound by
If you do not wish to sign a contract, you do not need to
attend a meeting.
If you do wish to sign a contract or you are
thinking about it, you can attend a meeting to gather more information and
understand the proposed terms of your employment.
understand and agree with the terms and conditions being offered to you, you
can sign the contract without attending a meeting.
This will depend
on the process at each HHS. It is likely that each meeting will be attended
by a HHS representative and an administrative support person.
As we understand it, the following terms
and conditions in Schedule 2 of the proposed contract may be negotiable:
- your position description
- your Key Performance Indicators
- whether you will be paid overtime on an annualised basis or as you work
- your private practice arrangements
- your hours of work
The HHSs have indicated that they would like to
conclude all contract negotiations and for contracts to be signed by 30 April
You may wish to ask your HHS representative for specific
information about the HHSs proposed timetable.
You should ask during your meeting
whether the negotiation process is confidential. Generally speaking,
remuneration negotiations are meant to be confidential between the parties.
Absolutely. The meeting is a two way discussion
between you and the HHS representative. The HHSs have indicated that most of
the terms and conditions are standard and cannot be varied for any particular
doctor. This does not prevent you asking questions to understand the terms
and conditions though and seeding variations if you wish to.
You should ask questions about anything in
the proposed contract that you don’t understand or would like clarification
understand your historical remuneration and your proposed remuneration.
You should also understand the terms and conditions that are being
proposed for your ongoing employment
Your HHS will provide this
information to you shortly if it has not already done so. You should ask your
HHS for any additional information you require to consider the proposed
The Department of Health has issued the final version of
the SMO and VMO contract. The contracts and supporting documentation can be
You should read the contract and
supporting documentation carefully.
You should make notes of
anything that you don’t understand or any questions that you have about the
contract. You can seek independent advice about your concerns and you can,
of course, discuss your concerns with the HHS representative in the
If you prefer, you can submit your questions in writing
to the HHS and seek a written response.
You can compare the proposed terms and conditions under
the contract with your current terms and conditions of employment.
Your current terms and conditions of employment are set out in a number of
- your letter of
- your supplementary benefit agreement
- for SMOs,
your information on your award can be found here
and MOCA3 here;
- the VMO Agreement can be found here.
- Queensland Health employment policies
- Health Service Directives and Public Service Directives
can also consider information previously provided by Queensland Health, Avant,
your industrial association and other organisations about the changes.
As we understand it, each
HHS will provide a document to each individual doctor setting out the doctor’s
past and proposed remuneration, as well as proposed private practice
You may wish to independently verify the accuracy
of the past remuneration information.
You will also have access
to a remuneration calculator on the QHEPS website which can assist you to
determine your future remuneration.
You should compare
your historical remuneration information with your proposed remuneration
The current remuneration
arrangements for SMOs are set out in the
District Health Services - Senior Medical Officers' And Resident Medical
Officers' Award - State 2012 and the Medical
Officers' (Queensland Health) Certified Agreement (No.3) 2012.
The current remuneration arrangements for VMOs are set out in the Terms and
Conditions of Employment, Queensland Government Visiting Medical Officers 2011
review your pay slips and other pay information (for example, your PAYG Payment
Summary) for recent financial years.
You should have regard to any
underpayments or overpayments that may have occurred as a result of errors in
payroll etc over this time.
Your future remuneration will be
an annualised figure comprising most of the elements of your existing
You will be able to elect whether to receive some
elements of your remuneration as an annualised figure or on an exception basis
(i.e. you will be paid for what you actually work on the submission of AVAC
forms). This mainly applies to overtime payments.
information about the proposed remuneration framework, you should review the
document entitled Total remuneration framework for Senior Medical Officers or
Total remuneration framework for Visiting Medical Officers (as appropriate)
which can be accessed here.
Queensland Health has issued information about superannuation for SMOs and VMOs under
the proposed contracts.
Health has issued information about
private practice arrangements under the contracts.
Yes, you can make an
annual election about whether you would like to receive an annualised amount in
respect of the overtime that you work or whether you would like to have it
paid as you work it.
If you receive an annualised amount in
respect of overtime, you will not need to complete AVAC forms and other
paperwork to claim overtime.
If you wish to have overtime paid as
you work it, you will need to continue to submit AVAC forms and have them
approved by your supervisor.
In deciding the
best option for you, you should consider:
- how much overtime was
actually paid to you in the most recent financial years;
one of those financial years had particular circumstances that increased or
decreased the overtime paid to you (for example, a colleague may have been
on extended leave during that particular year requiring you to work more
- your rostered and unrostered overtime;
likely overtime requirements in your department in the coming year;
- how past and future work practices are likely to be different;
- the amount of overtime you worked but did not claim for
you are happy to continue AVAC forms and deal with paperwork.
Write down what you actually do in your job. This may include:
- your duties and responsibilities (both clinical and non-clinical)
Consider the position description proposed in your contract and determine
whether it is consistent with what you actually do.
whether there are things that you should be doing or would like to be doing
which might be included in your position description.
other doctors who work in your department or outside your department do.
You should speak with the HHS representative about any differences
between what you actually do and what your proposed position description says
you will do.
Make sure that your position description is clear
and that you understand what is expected of you
Each HHS is
responsible for setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the HHS and
each individual doctor in the HHS.
It is likely that KPIs will
vary between HHSs, between departments and between individual doctors.
Prior to the meeting, you should consider your proposed KPIs.
You should try to understand:
- the key drivers for the HHS
(for example, managing fatigue or reducing overtime costs);
you can do to assist in the delivery of the key drivers;
- what you
can do to assist in “value adding”.
Your achievement of KPIs
will have a direct impact on your remuneration in subsequent years. You
should ensure that any KPIs are achievable by you before you agree to
It will take some
time (and perhaps a great deal of time) for you to:
your current entitlements, your proposed entitlements under the contract and
the differences between the two;
- prepare for the meeting;
- seek advice about areas you don’t understand; and
- attend the
meeting and any follow up discussions.
However, it is
important that you make an informed decision about whether you should or
should not sign a contract.
It is a matter for you as to whether you sign the
contract after considering all of the pros and cons of doing so.
If you don’t sign a contract:
- the award and MOCA3 will continue to apply to you until 30 June
- We do not know what will happen to the award MOCA3 after 1
- you will lose your entitlement to private practice
benefits (for example, your entitlements to your Option A allowance which
may be up to $100,000 in the case of a full time SMO. This may be a
significant part of your salary).
that Queensland Health will honour any contractual commitment it has to a VMO.
See also our information sheet for VMOs.
Some HHSs have
advised their doctors that the offer will lapse if the contract is not signed
by 30 April 2014. The HHSs are entitled to make an offer on this basis. It
is possible that HHSs will later extend the date for signing, but it is
equally possible that no extension will be given.
Other HHSs have
indicated that if contracts are not signed by 30 April 2014, they cannot
guarantee that the doctor will be transitioned to the new arrangements by 7
July 2014 when the contracts are due to start.
If you do not sign
a contract by 30 April 2014, there is a risk that you will not be offered
the same terms and conditions after 30 April 2014 when the current offer
lapses (including things such as your remuneration arrangements).
See our information sheet about resignation available for Avant members.
Avant has previously provided information to members about
the transition to individual contracts:
Nov 1, 2013
Nov 25, 2013
Dec 4, 2013
Avant will continue to provide updates as things
develop.This information is not comprehensive and does not
constitute legal advice. You should seek legal or other professional advice
before relying on this content. Avant is not responsible to you for any loss
suffered in connection with the use of this information, and information is
only current at the date initially published. If you are a member of
Avant and would like further advice or assistance, please contact us on 1800
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