UPDATE: TESL Balance Reduction



As members will be aware, ASMOF is in dispute with the Ministry of Health and HealthShare over the retrospective adjustment of TESL balances of Staff Specialists across the state.

Under the recommendation of Commissioner Murphy, the parties formed a Working Group to review the nature of the adjustments for each Local Health District.

The first meeting was on June 6 2017, to discuss Hunter New England Local Health District (‘HNELHD’). In addition, the parties have discussed Sydney Local Health District (‘SLHD’) and Sydney Children’s Hospital Network (‘SCHN’).

So far, the parties have acknowledged two distinct issues. The first being the differences in the leave data provided by the service, and what was recorded in Stafflink. This has led to minor adjustments both in negative and positive for consultants.

The second is the overarching and significant issue of retrospective adjustments as a consequence of the change to a continuous accrual system, pursuant to the 2015 TESL Policy Directive, PD2015_043 Training, Education and Study Leave (TESL) for Staff Specialists.

HNELHD and SLHD acknowledged historically they provided both full-time and part-time staff with the full 25-day amount of leave on their employment anniversary date. This was supported by Local Policy Directives that outlined this provision.

From ASMOF’s perspective, it is completely inequitable to retrospectively adjust entitlements of staff when they were, in good faith, adhering to Local Policy Directives at that time.

We are continuing to advise all staff to check their balances and notify us if there have been any previous, or further adjustments.

On the contrary, for SCHN, we have seen that the historic practice of recording leave has always been pro rata, and as a result, staff have not been affected by the retrospective adjustments in the same way as other Districts. We will be contacting individual members affected to discuss this further.

The Working Group will continue to meet, and ASMOF will continue to outline our core position that for the genuinely affected consultants, all TESL balances prior to the review are reloaded, staff are consulted accordingly, and that all changes and agreements focus on prospective governance, and do not include unjust and unfair retrospective adjustments.

A reminder to consultants that at ASMOF’s request, the Ministry have noted:
“Staff Specialists who have an apparent negative balance; and/or who have taken other types of leave for training, education of study purposes since balances have been displayed in StaffLink from 2016 and/or whose planning to use TESL in the near future is affected by disagreement about balances; will be addressed first in the process. Appropriate consideration will be made to overcome actual or potential detriment to the specific Staff Specialists in these circumstances”.

If you have been affected by this in any form, please contact Industrial Officer Damien Lee at your earliest convenience via damienl@asmof.org.au, or alternatively through the ASMOF Office on 9212 6900.