Office Accommodation




As previously reported, ASMOF is campaigning hard to retain and enforce the right for Staff Specialists’ to have access to appropriate Office Accommodation.

In October 2017 the Unions governing body, the State Council unanimously endorsed the following motion:

          “State Council opposes any attempts to change office accommodation standards for staff specialists which

          do not meet the ASMOF Recommended Minimum Office Accommodation Standards (Attachment C) and the

          requirements of the Staff Specialists (State) Award, which relevantly says that Staff Specialists will have

          access to such office, secretarial and administrative support as may be reasonably necessary to undertake

          the requirements of the position. Furthermore, ASMOF will fight any attempt to erode acceptable

          accommodation standards for Staff Specialists, including escalation to the NSW IRC if necessary.”

This is an important issue for our members and it’s our view that Staff Specialists should have access to a private office for many reasons, including:

  • in addition to direct clinical duties, they are involved in administrative tasks, management of staff, medico legal matters, teaching/training, research, and supporting staff involved in critical incidents;
  • all those tasks and responsibilities involve an obligation on the Specialist to maintain confidentiality; and
  • Staff Specialists are regularly interrupted to attend to critical patient, staff or operational matters which require them to leave their office urgently, thereby creating a need for an office to be secure.

As part of our strategy we took NSW Health and Western Sydney Local Health District to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission over plans to redevelop Westmead Hospital. This lead to a Compulsory Conference chaired by Commissioner Stanton on 23 February, and an inspection by the Commission of new office arrangements at Westmead Hospital on 15 March. We have also met with the Deputy Secretary and other senior NSW Health staff on Monday 9 April in an attempt to resolve this dispute.

We have a further compulsory conference today (Friday 13 April). At this conference ASMOF President, Tony Sara will provide background to the intention of the parties when the current clause 24, Office Accommodation, Secretarial and Administrative Support was inserted into the Award.

Commissioner Stanton made three important recommendations on 23 February including that the Ministry comply with its current Office Accommodation Policy.

On 11 April, ASMOF received a letter from the Ministry indicating that it was unilaterally rescinding its current policy.

ASMOF has responded and will further prosecute this important issue before the Commission today, Friday 13 April 2018.

We will keep members informed of the progress of this matter.