CMO Overpayment Dispute

12-May-2017

 

ASMOF met with the Ministry on 31 March and 5 May 2017 and attended a report back before Chief Commissioner Kite in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) on 9 May.

The Ministry has made a “without prejudice” offer to ASMOF to withdraw members overpayments if there is agreement that CMOs are only entitled to be paid annual leave loading while on annual leave. If there is no agreement then the parties will further discuss consent variations to the Public Hospital Career Medical Officers (State) Award. ASMOF will be talking to affected CMOs to discuss the progress of this matter.

ASMOF say employees on annual leave are entitled to be paid penalty rates while on annual leave in accordance with their Award. Clause 12(i) says Career Medical Officers (State) Award “ All employees shall be allowed four calendar weeks leave of absence on full pay in respect of each twelve months service as defined in this Award plus one day on full pay in respect of each public holiday occurring within the period of such leave”. ASMOF says “full pay” is the ordinary rate plus the penalty rate. Clause 8 says “The penalty rate is any ordinary hours worked between the following hours shall be paid at ordinary time plus the appropriate penalty rate...” where the rate payable under the Award will depend on the time worked. A CMO on leave during that rostered period should be paid the same as if they had of worked that shift.

The Ministry acknowledges that the interpretation of the award is a key issue.  Affected members were paid penalty rates while on annual leave up until 1 July 2016 after which they were paid annual leave only. The Leave Matters policy also provides for the payment of penalty rates while on annual leave in accordance with the relevant Award.

ASMOF has asked the Ministry to withdraw the overpayments so that the parties can commence these discussions in an attempt to resolve the dispute. ASMOF says members were legitimately paid during leave and imposing a debt of up to $25 000 per member is onerous. A further  issue arising from the overpayment is there may also be an underpayment where CMOs have not been paid the penalty rate or have only been paid annual leave loading.

ASMOF will meet with the Ministry 16 May 2017 and the parties will report back to the IRC on 5 June 2017.

If you wish to comment please contact Senior Industrial Officer Xanthe Thomson 02 9212 6900 or email: xanthet@asmof.org.au