COVID 19 - impacts on staff specialists TESL, RoPP and pay



In addition to the numerous WHS, leave and workforce issues we are dealing with, the Union is currently negotiating with the Ministry on three staff specialist specific matters.

Non-Standard Remuneration for Staff Specialists due To Covid-19

We are trying to reach agreement with the Ministry regarding appropriate remuneration where a staff specialist agrees to be rostered for additional shifts or hours beyond 40 ordinary hours per week during the pandemic.

Whilst we agree on most issues, there remain two issues that are outstanding:

  1. The first is whether overtime is paid on the “rolled up” salary of the base award rate plus the special allowance and the allowance in lieu of private practice. The Union fought long and hard to get the “salary” to be rolled up and it set a dangerous precedent for us to agree to accept anything based on the base rate.
  2. The second issue relates to the shift loading proposed for members working between midnight and 7am. The Ministry has proposed a loading of 25% whilst we are seeking a loading of 50%. Noting that in Victoria staff specialists get 75% between midnight and 7am.

On Monday the ASMOF State Executive met and passed the following unanimous resolution:

“ASMOF NSW Executive cannot agree to the current draft Staff Specialists Overtime Determination given the outstanding issues of the private practice allowance the proposed loading for the midnight to 7am shift. Therefore, the Executive refers the draft Determination to the State Council for a decision on Tuesday 21 April 2020“.

We will have a final considered position after next Tuesday.


Members have raised concerns about the impact on RoPP earnings.

Different options have been put forward, including guaranteeing minimum earnings from General Funds and seeking permission given to access No. 2 accounts to make up the difference,

ASMOF has asked the Ministry to tell all LHDs to allow staff specialists to change their level arrangement prior to 30 June, noting that this “additional” election is allowed for (by agreement) in the Staff Specialists Determination 2015.

The Ministry is reluctant to issue this direction to LHDs, saying that they can do this already.


Our advice to members is if you want to change your level arrangement now then you should approach your LHD with the request. If your request is knocked back, then make sure you contact us at


ASMOF has put the following to the Ministry

  1. We have asked that no member, at any level can be left out of pocket personally (i.e. where a member has directly paid for something, for example, registration fees, this should be reimbursed by the hospital) and no member should have to use own TESL funds for reimbursement. (this would mean that they would be paying themselves back through their own entitlement). Reimbursement for any costs should come from the General Fund.
  2. For the period that members cannot use TESL (both leave entitlement and funding entitlement) it would be appropriate and equitable for the Ministry to amend/freeze the maximum accumulation which will ensure that members are not disadvantaged in their ability to access their full entitlement as a result of the direction to not take TESL.