ASMOF Statement on Professor Dietz

08-Nov-2019

You may have seen some recent media articles which share confidential comments made by a member of ASMOF’s NSW Council.

The comments that were reported on recently were sent a year ago in a confidential email to Councillors. Let’s be clear, these views are totally unacceptable and do not reflect the views of ASMOF. A great article in the Sydney Morning Herald articulates why female doctors are not the problem.

We sincerely apologise to our members who may have been hurt by these comments.

Our members have also told us that the views Prof Dietz expressed do not sit in isolation, and we are all too aware that women in medicine continue to experience gender-based discrimination. If you are experiencing direct or indirect discrimination in the workplace or having difficulty accessing your entitlements, ASMOF is here to support and represent you.  In the last year we have successfully supported 166 members who had issues with parental leave- this is our bread and butter  and we offer you expert assistance with these issues.

When Prof Dietz sent the email to ASMOF’s Council last year, he was personally cautioned by the Union’s President and other State Councillors. It has been reported that a motion to formally censure Prof Dietz was put forward and ruled out of order by the President. The motion was ruled out of order because it was submitted the day before the State Council meeting and was then circulated the afternoon of Council meeting. There was therefore no time for other Councillors to read or consider it, including Prof Dietz.  It accordingly did not follow the union’s Rules and so if allowed to progress it would have denied procedural fairness. We hold your employer to high standards of procedural fairness and we as a union are bound by high standards in the Industrial Relations Act. The mover of the motion withdrew the motion and another motion was put forward, which rejects bullying and discrimination in our Union. You can read this motion in full here, which includes a call for a culture of respect, equity and fairness amongst our leadership and acknowledges that promoting this culture is an ongoing project. This was upheld and unanimously supported by our Council.

Since the emails have been leaked to the public  we have heard from members, including ASMOFs Women’s Working Group, that the Union needs to do more. We hear these concerns and all complaints we receive will be fully investigated.

At this stage Prof Dietz has indicated that he will not be resigning and we have sought legal advice as to what further actions we can take.

If you have comments or concerns on this matter we encourage you to contact our Executive Director Andrew Holland at andrewh@asmof.org.au.

We hope to continue a respectful conversation around the need to urgently modernise doctors training and working conditions to achieve gender equity and secure the safety and wellbeing of our workforce.