Doctors who are members of the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation will have received a ballot email asking you to indicate, among other things, whether you are willing to sign the contracts in their latest form.

If you haven’t received the ballot email, check your email junk folder. 

It’s critical that everyone fill in this survey. We need to know where you stand so that we can determine what the next steps in the campaign should be.

These are your contracts. It’s up to you to decide whether it meets your specific needs.

Many of you have not yet received the latest version of the contracts. There are examples of the contracts located here http://www.health.qld.gov.au/medical/medical-contracts/ on the Government’s website. The contracts on the website are the latest versions – use them as a guide.

As you know, the Taskforce has been negotiating with the Government for quite some time on behalf of the state’s doctors. We said at the last Pineapple meeting that while not perfect, the current contracts are the best we can possibly get in the current political environment. The contracts have come a very long way since the first incarnation that Government put on the table.

That said, below are a few key facts that you should take into consideration before casting your vote.

  • The contracts do leave open the possibility of doctors coming into the system in the future being put on a lesser contract. Whatever the outcome of this ballot, your unions will continue to fight for the rights of new doctors coming into the system.
  • Prior to the last Pineapple meeting the Health Minister and Director General had indicated that a number of changes to the VMO contracts were to be made – changes that the Taskforce had told him were key. Those changes were:
    •  allowing SMOs who work one day a week, and have a separate private practice, to be offered a VMO contract;
    • clarifying the overtime and on-call arrangements to ensure that when VMOs are on-call at any time of the day or night, they are appropriately remunerated .
    • ensuring the VMO’s continued right to conduct off-campus private practice. The clause as it stands limits this protection to on-call outside the hours of 7am-6pm Monday to Friday.

Despite written communication from the Taskforce indicating this is the case, the Minister has either not made these changes or failed to ensure the commitments are honoured at a local level by Health and Hospital Services.

The ballot will close at midnight on Monday 12 May 2014 after which time we will collate the results and report back to all members on the outcome.

Once again, thank you for your dedication throughout this process. This has been a difficult time for doctors right across the state, however the patients of Queensland will be better off because of your efforts.

Regardless of the result of this ballot, we will continue to fight to ensure Queenslanders have access to the best possible public health system now and into the future.