Hunter Retrieval




This matter was back before the Industrial Relations Commission in Newcastle on Wednesday 11th January where ASMOF emphasised the following:

  Staff Specialists were being rostered for shift work but were not being paid shift allowances, and that penalty rates for working on public holidays were not paid;

  It is unreasonable for the benefit of rostering staff specialists on 24/7 shifts, as is reasonably required to conduct the Hunter Retrieval Service, contrary to the provisions of the Staff Specialists’ Award, without providing the shift penalties which accrue to compensate for shift work as provided by the Award. i.e. it is inequitable to take the benefit of shift work provisions without accepting the responsibility to remunerate consistent with the shift work provisions of the Award.

  The Award does not currently reflect the industrial necessities of Retrievalists, however the current NSW Baird Government’s Industrial Relations (Public Sector Conditions of Employment) Regulation makes it challenging, if not impossible, to vary the Award  to provide equity for those employees who are rostered to shift work but not appropriately compensated.

  It is possible to resolve the matter either administratively or by the request of the Chief Executive of HNELHD to request a Determination from the Secretary of Health, and a Recommendation from the Commission in those terms was requested.

  HNELHD submitted that the Award only allows shift penalties to be paid to those practicing Emergency Medicine, and therefore Retrieval is exempt, but that it is essential that the Retrieval Service operates on a 24/7 basis.

  HNLHD also submitted that there are various and inconsistent applications of the Award throughout the 8 retrieval services in NSW  indicated that the Ministry of Health suggested that this was a matter to be resolved at a local level.

Commissioner Stanton heard these and other arguments both on and off record in private conference, and determined to provide a  considered Recommendation to the parties in the near future. ASMOF will advise when the Recommendation is received.