‘Wilful blindness’ on junior doctor hours

 Yesterday morning, the dangerous hours that junior doctors work was discussed on ABC Radio.

Speaking on the Victorian class actions, Dr Roderick McRae, President of ASMOF VIC, called out the ‘wilful blindness’ from management on junior doctor hours, which sees your real workload, and the real cost of managing the public hospital system safely, radically underestimated.
Emily, a doctor in ASMOF VIC’s class action, is also interviewed in the program. The point of being paid overtime…is so the management actually see it and acknowledge it’s a problem’ she said.

You can listen to the ABC feature here. Content warning- the story discusses doctor suicide.

Time's Up

Our legal action to address unpaid overtime and unsafe hours is progressing and we have now taken 40 statements from members.

These statements form just one part of our evidence. We have also amassed significant evidence about underpayments from years of undertaking pay audits for ASMOF members.

You may recall that last year we invoked our Union Right of Entry at Bankstown Hospital to access and  review DIT rosters, unrostered overtime claims, call back claims, and other documentation. The evidence of underpayments gathered in this process will also form part of our contravention action.

All this evidence will certainly prove hard to continue wilfully ignoring. 

This evening our DIT Councillors will be meeting to discuss the next steps for our Time's Up campaign as we approach our launch date. 

Thanks to all our members who have given their time to support our action.

Warm regards,
News for Doctors in Training | 27 October

Meet your co-chairs

Improving junior doctors working conditions is a priority of our Union, and our DIT co chairs help us ensure our work is always member driven.

This year Dr Yvonne Nguyen has been elected to join Dr Jeffery Wang as ASMOF NSW newest Doctors in Training co-chair.

Yvonne is a psychiatry registrar currently working across the South Eastern Sydney LHD:

'I've always been passionate about junior doctors and improving their wellbeing, training and working conditions.

I am excited and proud to be working towards this with my fellow junior doctors and ASMOF NSW, and invite you all to reach out and work with us.'

Jeffery is an intensive care registrar at Westmead Hospital and has been a member of ASMOF NSW State Council since 2019: 

'I have been an active member of ASMOF since internship, and I'm passionate about improving the working conditions of junior doctors in NSW.

As a DIT co-chair we report we work to represent your interests in the Union, and we report regularly to ASMOF NSW Council on DIT issues.'

You can reach out to your co chairs by emailing [email protected]

Team based rostering returns

The majority of hospitals across NSW have advised ASMOF that they will have either already reverted to team-based rostering or will have reverted for next term given the decline in Covid cases.

With the introduction of ward-based rostering, ASMOF established a Union Specific Consultative Committee (USCC) at each of the relevant Hospitals to discuss members issues. 

We were able to do this because NSW Health has a legal obligation to consult with the Union and we requested that the Ministry of Health write to remind all Chief Executives of this obligation. To guide our advocacy we developed  Principles of Ward Based Rostering.

We appreciate the engagement and support from the RMOA groups and other members to develop these principles.

How much notice should you be given regarding rosters?

Under your Award your employer must give at least two weeks' notice of the roster to be worked in relation to ordinary hours of work. You should also be given two weeks' notice in relation to additional (overtime) rostered hours of work if this is practicable. Your employer may only change the rosters without notice to meet any emergent situation (i.e. when an urgent situation arises unexpectedly which requires prompt action).

If you have any further questions or concerns please contact us at [email protected]

JMO of the Year- Dr Tamblyn Devoy

Congratulations to Dr Tamblyn Devoy for being awarded NSW Junior Medical Officer of the Year. Dr Devoy has been a powerful advocate for doctors in training in his roles as President of Wollongong Hospital’s Resident Medical Officer Association (RMOA) and Chair of the NSW Junior Medical Officer (JMO) Forum.

Dr Devoy has also been an asset to ASMOF as he worked with our Union to discuss issues with the ward-based rostering model with Medical Workforce at the Wollongong Hospital.  Dr Devoy and other ASMOF delegates contribution were crucial to our discussions with management.    

Pay delays at RPA frustrate DITS

As a result of ASMOF’s quick intervention, RPA has acted to correct staffing problems that lead to members experiencing significant delays in being paid their unrostered overtime, call-back claims, and remote clinical appraisal claims.

RPA has employed a new full-time officer to work on processing over 500 outstanding claims. The hospital has given the Union a commitment to pay all outstanding claims by the end of the month.

You have a right to be paid on time.

If you have an issue with your unrostered overtime, Call Backs or any other pay issue please contact the ASMOF team via [email protected]

17 recommendations to improve your pay

ASMOF continues to engage with the Ministry of Health to address the full range of issues that cause underpayments to junior doctors to occur. We have developed 17 recommendations informed by the pay auditing work the union has done over the last five years.

We believe that these are issues that can be easily resolved through improved systems, processes, reporting and better training of staff. We have tabled these recommendations with the Ministry of Health and we are hopeful of being able to work to resolve these issues.