ASMOF escalates fight for fair pay for Registrars after mediation fails

16-Oct-2020

With a frustrating response from the Ministry of Health to our campaign for fair pay for PGY3 working as Registrars, we are taking this case to the next level. We will be meeting with lawyers next week to refine our strategy for arbitration in the Industrial Relations Commission, with a hearing to be held on November 4.

We have strong evidence for our case and are seeking a legally binding decision which will force the Ministry to recognise the hard work of doctors in training and pay them appropriately.

Currently hospitals are giving DITs the workload of a Registrar but not “appointing” them as a Registrar which allows the hospital to pay them less. This is unfair and inequitable and means that some DiTs have not been rewarded for their effort or experience.

ASMOF is campaigning for a fair pay structure which guarantees that DiTs are classified and paid at the level which corresponds to the work they perform. The argument is simple - if you do the work of a Registrar you should be paid as a Registrar.

As part of our campaign we lodged a dispute in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) arguing that this case. We thought we had made some progress in conciliation with the Ministry when we provided them with examples of individual cases which clearly demonstrated our point.

However, they now have advised us that they do not consider any PGY 3 meet the test of being classified as a Registrar.

This is a refusal is based on an unfair and artificial technicality. To be recognised and paid as a Registrar you need:

  • at least three years post graduate experience or “any lesser period acceptable to the employer”
  • to be “appointed” as a registrar by your employer
  • to occupy an established position of registrar that has been approved by the employer.

As they are not ‘appointed’, they are not classified as a Registrar.

Members are frustrated that NSW Health continues to deliberately circumvent its responsibilities to properly classify and remunerate Doctors in Training as Registrars whilst requiring them to perform the duties and responsibilities of a Registrar.

This is why we are moving to arbitration- which gives the IRC power to make recommendations the Ministry must act on.

It is also important to note that the way the Award is written is doing a disservice to doctors in training. The NSW Government policy preventing meaningful change to the Award has to go if we are to get long term and sustainable change to DITs conditions.