TESL Meeting Update


Dear Doctor

Last week we met with the Ministry to discuss our list of 34 claims to improve TESL.
We developed this list using the results of the TESL survey and our meetings with members, and whilst further changes to this list aren’t precluded, it currently forms the basis of the negotiations to reform the TESL Policy.
TESL applications
The current process of approving and reimbursing TESL claims is ambiguous, cumbersome and often divergent throughout NSW Health. We are therefore deeply concerned that the Ministry wishes to retain arrangements in which the management of TESL and key operational decisions are left to LHDs and hospital management.
The development of a simple and uniform process across NSW Health for applying, taking and receiving reimbursement for TESL is a fundamental issue that must be resolved. 
By avoiding responsibility for developing a uniform process, the Ministry continue to support the existing unreasonable administrative limitations to accessing your TESL.
TESL & child care
ASMOF raised the important issue of access to TESL funding for care arrangements. The Ministry expressed the view that this is merely an expense that parents and carers have to consider when applying for TESL.  In other Australian states, such as Victoria, up to $250 per day is provided for child care costs.
Members with childcare responsibilities have told us they could not travel for TESL because the cost associated with obtaining childcare was too great. Considering women are more likely to have caring responsibilities, this is an issue of gender equity to accessing TESL for female staff specialists.

It is our position that expanding the list of expenses covered by Level 1 TESL Funding to include costs associated with caring responsibilities, including childcare costs, is essential to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to take their TESL.

Next steps
ASMOF will continue to fight for your rights for better and equitable access to your TESL. To win the changes we want to see, we will have to stand together as a profession and demand fair access to TESL. We will keep you updated on the negotiations and the actions we are organising for the campaign.
In the meantime send your questions, comments and TESL issues to ASMOF at allocation@asmof.org.au.

Dr Tony Sara
Dr Liz Swinburn
ASMOF NSW TESL Working Group

WHS includes mental health

 Did you hear the news? NSW has become the first state in Australia to introduce a Code of Practice to formally clarify the legal responsibilities that employers have to address mental health hazards in the workplace.

We also had a win in the federal sphere with WHS Ministers voting to regulate psychosocial hazards in the workplace. 

Federal and State Governments are finally on their way to recognising that safety at work is a mental health issue.  
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