Tasmanian industrial commission

Doc File 415.00 KByte,



TASMANIAN INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION

Industrial Relations Act 1984

s23 application for award or variation of award

Tasmanian Salaried Medical Practitioners’ Society

(T14112 of 2013)

MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS (PUBLIC SECTOR) AWARD

|PRESIDENT T J ABEY |HOBART, 23 January 2015 |

Award variation - workplace bargaining – arbitration - wage fixing principles - market for salaried medical practitioners - clinical engagement - nationally efficient price - clinical outcomes - locum costs - cost of claim – retrospectivity - safety net - SES equivalent specialist - salary increase - classification structure – translation - market allowance - private practice scheme - continuing professional development - sabbatical leave - motor vehicle entitlements - communication allowance - hours of work - excess time - reasonable notice of roster - removal expenses - car parking - leave reserved - date of operation - award varied

DECISION

1] On 30 October 2013, an application was lodged by the Tasmanian Salaried Medical Practitioners’ Society, (TSMPS) (the applicant), pursuant to s.23 of the Industrial Relations Act 1984, to vary the Medical Practitioners (Public Sector) Award (the Award). On 28 February 2014 an amended application, as above, was lodged. The respondent is the Minister administering the State Service Act 2000 (Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) (the respondent).

The Application in Context

The Salaried Medical Practitioners (AMA Tasmania/ DHHS) Agreement 2009 (2009 Agreement) provides at clause 5:

“Negotiations for a replacement Registered Agreement will begin no later than 31 December 2011. Prior to that date, the DHHS will issue a written invitation to the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Tasmania and TSMPS to begin negotiations.”

The applicant contends that the (DHHS) did not meet its obligation under this clause and it was only in late 2012 that negotiations began.

Mr Green submitted that this was a deliberate strategy by the agency to delay and impede negotiations. Notwithstanding, the TSMPS in good faith participated in the initial negotiations. Mr Green said:[1]

“What we submit that the evidence in this case and the manner in which the respondents have responded or dealt with the application demonstrates that the department in particular is reluctant to explore innovative and positive ways to address issues in relation to terms and conditions of employment, and instead they resort to simplistic measures that don’t address the fundamental issues. This is on the back of a failure to deal with the matter appropriate by way of commencing negotiations in a timely – in a timely way. What we submit is that the department has resolutely refused to consider initiatives which, in our submission, would lead to administrative simplicity, and thereby increase productivity.”

Mr Green submitted that the department adopted a rigid, predetermined position which in essence amounted to ‘surface bargaining,’ an expression discussed by a Full Bench in Public Sector Professional, Scientific, Research, Technical, Communications, Aviation and Broadcasting Union v Australian Broadcasting Corp:[2]

“If a party is only participating in negotiations in a formal sense but not bargaining as such, they may not be negotiating in good faith.

Negotiating in good faith would generally involve approaching negotiations with an open-mind and a genuine desire to reach an agreement, as opposed to simply adopting a rigid predetermined position and not demonstrating any preparedness to shift.”

Mr Green acknowledged that an offer was made which saw some small movements in a limited number of matters, but did not address the fundamental issues. At the heart of these unresolved issues, Mr Green submitted, is the classification structure. He said this issue was formally identified in clause 28 of the 2006 Agreement,[3] with a commitment for a joint review during the life of that agreement. Whilst some progress had been made in relation to specialists, the department had “deliberately excluded junior doctors”[4]and nothing had happened.

Mr Green submitted that, had the applicant accepted the December 2013 offer, nothing would have changed and none of the issues outlined in the current application would have progressed. That is why the applicant ultimately chose the path of seeking award variations through arbitration.

Ms Fitton, for the respondent, contends that the applicant is effectively seeking through an award variation what it cannot achieve through bargaining and, further, the application does not meet any of the Commission’s previous wage fixing principles. Ms Fitton said:[5]

“It remains our submission that enterprise bargaining is the system in which we work under to increase wages and conditions above what we say the award is for, i.e. the safety net, and we say that s23 of the Industrial Relations Act was never intended to allow a party to bypass that bargaining and seek increases to wages and conditions and hold no principles for doing so. In our submission to go down this path is ignoring some twenty nine years of industrial relations in this State and is also outside the principle headline of the Industrial Relations Act itself. Further, in our submission this has such precedent value that it could signal in our view the end of workplace bargaining, particularly during difficult economic times.”

Ms Fitton acknowledged that the negotiations had been difficult but rejected any suggestion that the respondent had failed to bargain in good faith.

The preamble to the Industrial Relations Act 1984 (IRA) reads:

“An Act to provide for the establishment of a Tasmanian Industrial Commission having a jurisdiction to hear and determine matters and things arising from, or relating to, industrial matters, including the making of awards, the conduct of hearings and the settling of disputes, to provide for the registration of employer and employee organisations, to encourage workplace bargaining and to provide for related and other matters”

Clearly an objective of the IRA is to “encourage workplace bargaining.” There is, however, in my view no reason to read this any higher than other objectives such as “making of awards” and the “settling of industrial disputes.”

Unlike the Fair Work Act 2009 (FWA), the IRA does not have a formalised regulatory scheme for workplace bargaining. I refer to concepts such as protected industrial action, bargaining orders, majority support determinations and the like. Instead, the IRA continues to have a dispute settling jurisdiction in s31 which the Supreme Court has found to be broad in nature. It is an offence for an organisation or member of an organisation to counsel, support or assist lockouts or strikes (s54). Hence whilst it is fair to say that both Acts encourage workplace bargaining, the legislative schemes are very different. Under the IRA, there is simply no warrant to say that workplace bargaining must be placed above all other available avenues.

That said, it must be recognised that a great deal of effort had been directed towards settling this dispute through bargaining. The Commission was involved in chairing at least eight conciliation conferences during 2013.[6] At the end of that process I reluctantly formed the view that the dispute was intractable in nature and further progress through conciliation was unlikely.

I note the respondent’s point about the absence of wage fixing principles. There is no mention of wage fixing principles in the IRA and certainly this is not a precondition for the prosecution of s23 Award variation application.

I accept that the application is unusual, perhaps even unprecedented. However it is not without a proper basis. The applicant is entitled to pursue the application in the manner it has, accepting the attendant risks that attach to such an approach.

The dispute relates to the entirety of salaried medical practitioners within the public health system. I am of the view that it is very much in the public interest that this dispute be resolved. It is to the credit of both parties that the arduous arbitration process has been pursued professionally without any suggestion of industrial action.

Scope of Application

This application extends to all medical practitioners employed under the terms of the Award and 2009 Agreement. The full-time equivalents (FTEs) in each category in 2013/14 is as follows:[7]

• Interns 84.7

• Residents 115.6

• Registrars 239

• Senior registrars 27.1

• Medical practitioners level 1-3 4

• Medical practitioners level 4 19.4

• Specialists 284.7

• Total 774.5

Evidence

During the hearing sworn evidence was taken from the following witnesses:

For the applicant:

Dr Michael Charles Lumsden-Steele Staff Specialist Anaesthetist, Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH)

Dr Tim Greenaway Director of Clinical Endocrinology, RHH

Dr John Daubenton Director of Paediatrics, Royal Hobart Hospital

Dr Dean Powell Staff Specialist, Department of Emergency Medicine, RHH

Professor Peter Dargaville Director of Newborn and Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, RHH

Dr David Cooper Director of Research and Deputy Clinical Director of the Department of Critical Care Medicine, RHH

Associate Professor Skinner Clinical Director of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Royal HHH

Dr Richard Benjamin Consultant Psychiatrist, Clarence & Eastern Districts Adult Community Mental Health Team

Dr Mark Hamilton Staff Specialist Vascular Surgeon, Department of Health and Community Services

Dr Milford McArthur Staff Specialist, Psychiatrist, RHH and Mental Health Services

Dr Phillip Roberts-Thompson Senior Staff Specialist Cardiology and Director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory, RHH

Dr Simon Morphett Staff Specialist Anaesthetist, RHH

Dr Malcolm Turner Staff Specialist - Rheumatology & General Internal Medicine and Director of Physician Training, RHH

Dr Ruth Matters Deputy Director of Anaesthetics, RHH

Dr Gillian Plummer Staff Specialist Anaesthetist, RHH

Dr Stuart Day Staff Specialist Anaesthetist and Deputy Director of the Department of Anaesthesia, Launceston General Hospital (LGH)

For the respondent:

Dr Peter John Renshaw Director of Clinical Services, (LGH)

Mr Shane Edward Bond Cost accountant, Strategic Control Workforce and Regulation, DHHS

Mr Martin Christopher Henshaw Director of Strategic Planning, DHHS

Mr Steven Glen Shackcloth Chief Information Officer, DHHS

Mr John Douglas Kirwan Chief Executive Officer, Tasmanian Health Organisation North (THO N)

Ms Sonia Maree Purse Director of Finance, (THO N)

Mr David Allan Basire Director of Finance, Tasmanian Health Organisation North West (THO NW)

Mr Craig Anthony Watson Director of System Reform, DHHS

Ms Eleanor Patterson Acting Chief Financial Officer, DHHS

In addition, 162 documents were tendered into evidence.

The hearing occupied 24 sitting days.

Market for Salaried Medical Practitioners

The thrust of the applicant’s case is that the Tasmanian Award/Agreement structure is uncompetitive. This is particularly so in relation to specialists, a position succinctly captured in the submission from Dr Day:[8]

“The Tasmanian State Service competes in a market for specialists. Tasmanian Salaried Medical Practitioners’ Society submits that Tasmania is failing to meeting this market and as a result of failing – is failing to attract and retain the best specialists it can. The result is often going without or needing to have special deals to keep and attract specialists.”

On the other hand the respondent contends that whilst recruitment/retention issues may exist in certain occupational groupings and/or regional areas, the award should not be used as a device to ramp up salary packages across the board and thus extend to areas where recruitment/retention issues either do not exist, or alternatively are manageable.

It is important to firstly define what the market is.

I start from the position that the market rate is not the average of what may be paid in other States.

Rather, the market is that level of remuneration package which is sufficient to attract and retain medical practitioners with the level of qualifications, experience and other attributes desired by the employer. This may be above or below the average of that which is available in other jurisdictions.

In terms of medical practitioners, meeting the market does not simply mean filling a position with someone who may be notionally professionally qualified, but does not necessarily meet the other attributes desired by the employer.

I also accept that it is the employer who ultimately bears the responsibility for determining the desired standards/selection criteria, noting of course that in the case of the public health system, the employer is ultimately answerable to community expectations.

There are a number of factors which go into the mix when determining the market package. They include:

• Salary packages available in other jurisdictions;

• Remuneration arrangements in the private sector;

• Lifestyle considerations;

• Peer support and attendant on-call rosters;

• Training, research and professional development opportunities, and

• Clinical engagement.

The applicant contends that the notion of clinical engagement was also a critical element in assessing the market. In commenting on the Commission on Delivery of Health Services in Tasmania (2012 report),[9] Dr Greenaway said:[10]

“I think people will also know that a subsequent report has been delivered to this one which echoes many of the sentiments in the executive summary and also in the body of the report which is that clinical governance is critical to effective outcome in health systems and in this report and in the subsequent report which was released by both the state and federal ministers, a key issue is that there needs to be meaningful engagement with senior clinicians in terms of the government structures for Tasmania to achieve the outcomes that we wish and I would echo that sentiment very strongly.”

Dr Greenaway said the role of a senior clinician is not limited to teaching, training, mentorship and clinical responsibility for their areas of expertise, but in particular have senior roles on safety and quality committees to ensure that standards are maintained, patient safety is paramount, and mistakes are recognised and analysed. This is not a role that can be adequately performed by junior consultants. Referring to the Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry (Staffordshire Report)[11], Dr Greenaway observed:[12]

“If senior clinicians are disengaged from the process then patient outcomes are affected and tragedies can occur. It is absolutely essential that senior clinicians are involved in the governance of health and that is made very clear by Commissioner Vansimer’s recommendation which does in fact call for, amongst other things, a more meaningful senior clinician engagement.”

And later:[13]

“… if you read this report you will also note the reference to the previous Bristol inquiry and once again the point that is being made and obviously I’m labouring it a bit, is that if senior clinicians disengage from management and from health governance then patient’s lives can be affected and patients can suffer and do suffer and it is absolutely essential that senior clinicians are involved in – at every level but in particular take a leadership role in governance in all health systems and that includes Tasmania.”

In relation to the attraction and retention of senior clinicians, Dr Greenaway stated:[14]

“Obviously we’ve heard about the stresses that we’re facing at the moment – we’re going through budget reform, healthcare reform, how we deliver healthcare, how is this relevant to where we – to this report, what happened in NHS relevant to what we’re facing in the future in Tasmania?...It behoves all of us to – who care about health outcomes in Tasmania to pay attention to the fact that notwithstanding budgetary pressure, and notwithstanding the need to get value for money with respect to healthcare dollars spent you must have a capacity to attract and retain senior specialists within the health system so that they can be engaged, they can drive clinical governance and can work with managers to improve outcomes for patients because if you do not then the consequence can be Bristol, can be Stafford and could be disastrous for patience.”

The subsequent Tasmanian report (2014 Report) stated:[15]

“We also remain concerned that lack of acceptance across segments of the system, and DHHS’s difficulties in garnering acceptance of statewide efforts, will hamper the effective operationalization of the Framework. In particular, we are concerned by the level of ignorance of clinical governance practices among senior clinicians. We are aware of senior clinicians in statewide roles who do not accept the need for system-wide as well as local-level approaches. There also appear to be clinicians at the local level who believe that statewide policies can be ignored when it suits them. We regard this as ill-informed, dangerous and a direct challenge to the accountability of individual clinicians for the safety and quality of the care they provide. It is our view that a demonstrated understanding of clinical governance at a system level should be a criterion for selection to system-wide roles.”

Commenting on the above Dr Greenaway said this was a reflection of the fact that there had been a degree of clinical disengagement and stated:[16]

“What it really needs or what this state really needs are clinical champions of a level of seniority and with enough recognised experience to drive this – to drive change, to drive clinical approaches to care that are uniform, consistent and that are evidence based to maximise outcome. What – this refers obviously to sort of clinical colloquialism and we need to move beyond that and I think it is relevant to our claims, or at least our approach to try and recognise the importance of senior clinicians in this.”

In relation to any linkage between the salary package and clinical engagement, Dr Greenaway’s evidence is:[17]

“Dr Greenaway, in your discussion that you’ve had with other senior clinicians in the Tasmanian Health Organisations, looking at the current I guess salary package and overall benefits applied at that senior medical practitioner level for those that are senior clinicians, do they currently feel happy with the level of remuneration and package they receive with other jurisdictions?……No.

What is the risk then to that group of -……The risk is that they will leave, that they will move to private practice exclusively, certainly that they will disengage from what is perceived as being non-patient related duties. So that they will disengage from quality assurance activities, clinical governance activities, mentorship – Yes.- teaching etcetera.



Associate Professor Skinner’s evidence is that senior clinical input into management is essential to define the risks and provide the experience as to how these risks can be best managed at a clinical level. He said:[18]

“I think the biggest single thing that we’re now facing in relation to this attraction and retention purely based on an award condition is if we want to get the health reforms in Tasmania up and – up and running, and if we want to have the health reforms truly engage – clinicians truly engaging with those reforms then we have to provide amelior to be able to attract and retain specialists into this health system, and if – if it’s not rectified and if it’s not made comparable then we will lose high quality specialists to other jurisdictions when we actually need them here in this state to provide that integration, engagement and service provision, and there will you know, if we don’t have that capacity then we will have a reduction in clinical service delivery.”

And later:[19]

“So if I could just rephrase; if there’s a widening of the gap between conditions and services for Tasmanian senior specialists, they’re now being asked to undergo further reform and change and widely engage, is that process going to be difficult to do if it’s perceived to be less value for Tasmanian specialist medical practitioner – senior clinicians?……It would absolutely be my opinion that having been through a number of processes now over the last fifteen years in that regard there would be disengagement and – and that disengagement would, I think, inhibit the desirable pathway that the state health reform wants to go on and that disengagement would eventually reduce our clinical standards across the – across the state.”

Dr Daubenton’s evidence is that medical training is to a significant extent, experiential. A diagnosis can be recognised because the senior clinician has seen it before and is able to provide guidance to other less experienced practitioners. Not only is this good for the patient but also saves money by avoiding unnecessary investigations. Hence senior clinicians can represent a cost saving in a hospital.[20]

Dr Powell’s evidence is in a similar vein.[21]

The evidence of Dr Dargaville is that junior consultants lack the knowledge, history and perspective to drive the high level decision making on state-wide care models necessary to achieve the most efficient outcomes possible.[22]

In relation to the need for senior clinical staff, Dr Cooper said:[23]

“Intensive care is a very high stress environment and the current levels of under-resourcing make it much worse. We have to be within fifteen minutes of the Royal Hobart Hospital at all times when we are on call and for me that’s a one in three roster and it has a significant effect upon my – upon family life. Every decision that we make is a matter of life and death, these patients have no leeway in this regard, and we have to make these difficult decisions on the run and then we have to live with those decisions. This isn’t something that you can get from a book, it requires experience. When patients die the junior staff are often shattered, especially if they believe that those deaths were potentially avoidable had intervention occurred at an earlier stage than it did or had different resources been available to them we, as the senior staff, have to counsel those juniors, we have to deal with the families. That’s often a very emotionally charged environment. We have reached the edge of the current resource envelope and now decisions are having to be made as to who gets admitted to the intensive care unit and therefore has a chance of living and in some cases who doesn’t get admitted to the intensive care unit and whether we have to change our approach on the grounds of futility or suchlike to a conservative or palliative approach for these people.”

Dr Cooper’s evidence also went to the issue of which tests may have the greatest yield for the least cost.[24]

Dr Benjamin’s evidence went to examples of poor outcomes as a consequence of senior clinicians not being involved in the decision making process.[25]

Specialists

The applicant called evidence from a number of senior specialist consultants. Their evidence is summarised below.

Dr Hamilton’s evidence is that Tasmania is not meeting the market with its current remuneration package. He instanced an example whereby a Tasmanian advertised vacancy attracted no Australian applicants, despite a glut of recently qualified vascular surgery fellowship candidates.[26]

Dr Hamilton said the Tasmanian remuneration package compared most unfavourably with South Australia where he had previously worked. He had relocated to Tasmanian for family reasons but had taken a substantial decrease in remuneration and conditions as a consequence.[27]

Dr Hamilton said that in private practice his billings were between three and five times that available in the public sector. He said:

“So in terms of attracting people to stay within the public sector, the remuneration is a significant component of it, and certainly in other specialities such as orthopaedics or ophthalmology. There is no reason why these surgeons should stay in the public sector at all.

Because the remuneration discrepancies and the conditions in which they work are so discrepant.”

Dr McArthur’s evidence is that the recruitment of psychiatrists has been a problem for the last 15 years. Currently there are four locum psychiatrists employed, which is extremely expensive ($2500/day, plus a vehicle and accommodation), but it has not been possible to recruit the necessary staff specialists.[28]

Dr McArthur said that whilst lifestyle is good in Tasmania, “… it is obviously not enough unless you are a local to, to give up that salary differential to come down and work in Tasmania.”[29]

The evidence of Dr Roberts-Thompson is that the Tasmanian remuneration package is considerably behind that available interstate. There had been great difficulty in attracting cardiologists to Launceston and the North West coast because of the nature of the scope of work, lack of peer support and infrastructure.[30]

Dr Roberts-Thompson said the RHH had experienced great difficulty in filling the director’s role and ultimately had to recruit internationally.[31] He said that a cardiologist working in private practice in Hobart would likely gross at least double the earnings of a salaried specialist.

Dr Powell said the Tasmanian salary package was at the bottom of all States and Territories and about 8% down on Victoria, which is the next lowest. His evidence is:[32]

“So you mention that you don’t think it’s competitive. How’s that impact you in emergency medicine departments and delivering health care in Tasmania?...Well I think that the first point is to say that most of us are here not because of the – well we’re not here because the wages are competitive or agreeable necessarily, but we’re here for other reasons. Hobart itself hasn’t had difficulty recruiting and interestingly it has had difficulty retaining, but I’ll come to that shortly. The – our specialist group in Hobart has been as full as we could have it, almost since – well certainly since I’ve been here and prior to that there haven’t been problems in finding people., generally because people come along and sometimes positions are found to be necessary just at a convenient time with people coming along, but most of us have reasons to be here that aren’t, as I say, to do with the work – to do with working in Hobart or working in Tasmania per se, except for personal aspects. So people are here for their families, they’re here for environment – they like bushwalking or mountain biking and doing all those things. So it’s familiar for some but everyone, given the right circumstances, would be going. Things that are keeping them here are not. They’re circumstances of the job, so as other things evaporate – for myself – as my kids get older I will be thinking seriously about why I’m here because they could come and visit me.”

Dr Powell said that the most senior consultant in Hobart would be getting less than a first year consultant in Queensland.[33]

Dr Powell said that both Launceston and Burnie were using “sweeteners” to augment income and were also heavily reliant on locums.[34]

Dr Powell said that whilst recruitment wasn’t an issue in Hobart, retention was. Of the twenty specialists in Hobart, only three were full-time. The remainder had dropped hours for various reasons, to be augmented elsewhere, such as private practice. He said that earnings available in the private sector were close to double that of the public sector.[35]

Dr Morphett’s evidence went to the position in South Australia where an attraction/retention allowance of 50% is standard. Overall the package in South Australia was 33% higher than what he had previously earned in Tasmania.[36]

In Tasmania, Dr Morphett works 0.5 FTE, with the balance in the private sector. This was a decision largely financially driven by the discrepancy between public and private earning opportunities in Hobart.[37] His evidence is:[38]

“I’d make a couple of general statements. I mean, clearly I’ve sort of stated I made a decision to go half-time and stay within the public system. So there are certainly major benefits to being in the public system, one of which is I get to practice in a sub-specialty area that’s only available there. In terms of professional satisfaction and challenge that’s clearly very important. I’m sure that we’ve already talked about this – all the other things that keep people in the public sector, like the ability to be involved in education and research, which is much less available in the private sector which has a much higher focus on pure service delivery. However, I guess my concern is that the differential has reached a point and it’s been there for a while there – and I – when I was acting director anaesthetist there was a bleed of good, becoming quite senior staff into the private sector. Maybe not entirely. Many people went half-time like me. Some of those people have subsequently dropped more and more hours and have worked more and more in the private sector, and many of those people, like me, similarly 10 or 15 years post-graduation – they’re the people that would normally form the backbone of a vibrant service. They’re the people that are young enough to still have a lot of energy and – but have the experience, I guess, and the consolidation. My concern, I guess, is that discrepancy is such that you’re bleeding these people into the private sector. There is competition between public and private for employment and work. The other concerning trend I’ve noticed in Tasmania – and the final comment I make is that the discrepancy is such that it’s very hard to get people to what I think are quite good hospitals, like the Launceston General Hospital. I know for a fact that they’ve had a couple of anaesthetic positions there that they have struggled to fill, and we have a number of young anaesthetists that are finishing and they’re staying in Hobart and maybe working a couple of sessions in private rather than go to Launceston because the differential is such that they’re just not interested. It’s not like Launceston is a, you know – it’s not like it’s a bad place to work. It’s a very good hospital and a pretty happy department really.”

Associate Professor Skinner said when he returned to Hobart the base salary was in no way competitive with offers he had received from interstate. The decision to return was family related, not financial. Associate Professor Skinner instanced a Queensland contract which was 25% higher for a similar director role. In his current role he had witnessed many specialists reducing from full-time to part-time in order to get the financial benefits of private practice. The overall package is not competitive and those who are recruited do so for lifestyle reasons.[39] Associate Professor Skinner said:[40]

“Now I see strategically unless there is a recognition of a tiered response, particularly at the senior level – middle and senior level – but particularly retention at the senior level, many of the clinical directors and senior clinicians who are providing that governance do not stay. … I’ve looked across the country and there are very few other jurisdictions where that seniority is not recognised.”

And later:[41]

“To attract and retain people who have the capacity to do that – you know, there are plenty of clinicians that are prepared to go into their training, but just want to provide clinical service. There are not all that many clinicians that actually want to drive innovative change and process. To attract and retain those people within the public system, we have to provide and really be competitive. At the end of the day if we’re not competitive, and I think there’s good evidence – there’s good evidence within my department that a number of my predecessors and my colleagues have not stayed full-time. You know, they’ve had – that’s what they’ve started with, but then they’ve realised that, in fact, it’s not fulfilling them financially for the market value of what they can do. Now, I’m a bit older – I – you know, I’ve been in private practice for many years. I’m now in the public system. I’m enjoying being in the public system. I want to see innovation. The Royal is a fantastic facility, as is the Launceston General, as is the North-West Regional. We have a great little system in Tasmania. We are under severe financial stress. We have to provide a salary package for our specialists and salary medical practitioners that is commensurate with what we want as outcome at the end of the day. What I want is a system where we integrate with our departmental colleagues to provide, you know, a fantastic health service for the people of Tasmania. If we don’t provide that there’s going to be a second tier of healthcare where the majority of keen, eager and highly-professional specialists will go into private.”

Associate Professor Skinner acknowledged that currently there are no vacancies in anaesthesia at the RHH and generally there was not a difficulty in recruiting quality staff specialists. The difficulty lies in attracting specialists with the appropriate sub- specialty skills necessary for a tertiary specialist teaching facility.[42]

Associate Professor Skinner’s evidence is that there is still a problem attracting and retaining specialists in rural centres which in turn leads to a reliance on locum appointments.[43]

The evidence of Dr Greenaway is that there is no additional allowance or financial recognition of the additional roles, including academic responsibilities, which are expected of senior clinicians. This is not the case in other jurisdictions where seniority is factored into the industrial instruments.[44]

On the matter of competiveness, Dr Greenaway said:[45]

“In terms of looking at, I guess, the package that you could be offered in Tasmania, versus the package that you could be offered in other States, can you provide information to the Commissioner as to whether it’s competitive or, does it meet the market rate?……No, it’s uncompetitive with respect to every other State and Territory, if I just look at the, I guess the overall package factoring in everything, as you know, we’ve done this at length, it’s somewhere between fifty and two hundred thousand dollars annually difference in the total package. Somebody at my level, I’m talking about, which is the senior, a Senior Staff Specialist, what you can get in Tasmania versus what is available and offered on the mainland.”

And later:[46]

“Just to change topic slightly, are you aware of many departments within the Royal Hobart Hospital that are struggling to attracting recruits, specialist medical practitioners at the moment?...We’ve had this problem for as long as I’ve been at the Royal Hobart Hospital, it’s particularly an issue in the – for surgeons and proceduralists because the – our competitive nature of the award is most acutely felt in those areas and so I’m also aware of special deals being done in certain areas, for example, I’m not sure whether, Mr President, you want me to name areas but whole sections of the hospital are staffed by doctors on deals well over and above the award simply because it’s been impossible to attract anybody to the department under the award. I made the comment last week, I think, that I was talking to the group manager of surgical services who made the comment directly when I commented on the fact that all of the surgeons at the Royal Hobart Hospital were on special deals in one form or another and her exact words to me were, “Well, we just couldn’t anybody to work under the award, who would be stupid enough to work under the award at the Royal Hobart Hospital?” To which I said, “I am”, but it is a big issue for surgeons, for proceduralists, for imaging, for where there’s a discrepancy between the salary here and the mainland.”

In relation to ‘special deals’, Dr Greenaway said:[47]

“If we had a – an award that duly recognised the role of senior doctors the sense of, I guess, recognition, the sense of belonging to the organisation and the ownership of the outcomes of that organisation would be better. The – I don’t think you can rely on a system as it currently stands where special deals are done for special doctors in special areas as defined by somebody in the Department of Health – much better to have an open transparent or that recognises as it does in Victoria in New South Wales and other jurisdictions the academic rigor, the teaching, the clinical governance, the – what a senior doctor brings to the table and brings to the organisation, and I think that is the way of sustaining a senior workforce in Tasmania that will

ultimately ensure best outcome, good clinical governance, mentorship and the sort of health system that we all want.”

Dr Renshaw provided evidence on this subject for the respondent. His evidence is summarised below.

In relation to attraction and retention, Dr Renshaw’s evidence is:[48]

“So perhaps if I could get you to reflect on some of the recruitment attraction retention issues you have for specialists in particular for North. Could you perhaps tell us about that? ...We actually have a very good track record in attracting specialists to the north and that's many reasons which I won't go into. But there are certain specialities where we have traditionally struggled to attract new specialities – new specialists. They would be in the diagnostic specialities such as radiology and pathology, some of the surgical sub-specialities. At the moment I think of plastic surgery and ear nose and throat surgery being two significant ones just as we speak. We did have some problems attracting haematologists for a little while but overall our ability to attract and retain the majority of specialist types has been reasonably good.”

Dr Renshaw said the lucrativeness of private practice in the diagnostic specialties and the difficulty in attracting specialists is well known across Australia. He noted that plastic surgeons are in short supply and most of the specialists the LGH has managed to attract have been from overseas. Indeed the LGH employs a significant number of overseas trained specialists. Dr Renshaw said the TSMPS claim, if successful, may be part of the solution but not the whole answer.[49]

The evidence of Mr Kirwan for the respondent is:[50]

“So does that translate in any way to the medical workforce, how do you – how do you attract doctors to the LGH?……The medical workforce, because it’s so – between the DMOs and the staff specialists and the rural medical practitioners and even within the subspecialty groups each area probably has to be looked at themselves. Some of the areas are moving into, a bit like dentistry, almost over-supply and there’s views of that. Whether those doctors will actually come and work in regional Australia is yet to be seen, people keep saying no, you can’t recruit overseas trained doctors because there will be Australian doctors coming. In the subspecialty areas, which is probably our areas that are most difficult to recruit to, I think it remains difficult by subspecialty, some areas seem to be quite good. Our training program, particularly at the fellowship level, registrar level, is quite strong in a number of areas. So, for example, I think all of our orthopaedic surgeons, all of them did some of their registrar training with us so, you know, we recruit back. We’ve been successful in a number of areas recruiting husband and wife teams back, some of them are both doctors, some of them are other professionals. Some of them come from Launceston so they’ve got family there, some of them like Launceston because it’s location, getting the advantage of regional Australia yet being only an hour’s flight from, you know, Melbourne.”

Comparison with Other Jurisdictions

During the hearing, the majority of relevant awards and agreements from other State, Territory and Commonwealth jurisdictions were tendered. In terms of salary packages for specialists, the applicant tendered a document summarising the position in each jurisdiction.[51]

The comparison attempts to take into account base salary, on call allowance, vehicles, communications, continuing professional development, private practice allowance and attraction/retention schemes.

A summary of the comparison is shown in the following table:

Comparison of Salary Packages for Specialists in Various Jurisdictions

|Jurisdiction |Bottom of scale |Top of scale |Difference from Tasmania |

| |$ |$ |Bottom Top |

| | | |$ $ |

|Tasmania |236272 |313260 | | |

|Queensland |290882 |384482 |54610 |71222 |

|South Aust |395954 |514900 |159682 |201640 |

|NSW |277634 |365158 |51898 |85118 |

|WA |321390 |403401 |85118 |90141 |

|NT |289061 |395909 |52789 |82649 |

|Vic |223077 |338056 |(13195) |24796 |

|Vic Contract |290683 |371460 |54411 |58200 |

|ACT |306788 |367582 |70516 |54301 |

The accuracy of the document was not contested. Nonetheless it does require some explanation and care in interpretation. For example, the uncontested assertion is that specialists in Victoria are overwhelmingly paid under a contract arrangement.[52] The comparison does not appear to take into account private practice schemes and ‘enhanced remuneration arrangements’ in NSW which appear to be in the order of an additional 25% of salary.

That said, the document does provide a useful outline of where Tasmania sits in terms of available remuneration packages.

Doctors in Training (DIT)

The thrust of the applicant’s claim in respect of DIT is for a new classification structure which is reflective of the current training programs and competitive in the relevant markets.

Dr Lumsden-Steele pointed out that DIT received a 1% salary increase in 2009 and 2010, and a 2.5% salary increase in December 2011. In terms of where Tasmania sits in the market place, his evidence is:[53]

“During that process I talked to people that had previously been involved in the process about what the points, particularly had been as to where it was possibly going to go and because I was also on the AMA council of doctors in training, I was able to look and review and get an understanding as to where other states had evolved their classification pathways, if they had changed, where they were intending to go, but also, and I think the critical thing to look at was how, you know, the way the doctors in training are progressing through the pathway or guess the pipeline of traditional specialists, has been evolving and changing over the last few years, particularly probably the last six to eight, and it was clear and apparent that our classification structure wasn’t really reflecting to a degree, the pathway and pipeline they got in and the other thing that became abundantly clear was that our structure and salaries were not competitive at all with the other states and this gap had been increasing and that's – that's been also hampered by the fact that we had 1 percent, 1 percent, 2.5 percent, there's been increases since December 2011 and I must say prior to this, going back ten or twelve, even longer ago, Tasmania had possibly the best or one of the most competitive structures that junior doctors, in terms of salary points and that was at the time a requirement as, and you could argue it still is, to actually attract and retain, it's not just doctors that come through for a year or two from the mainland and then go, but actually, clinical leaders and clinical – I guess you want to attract and retain good doctors, not just doctors and you want the good doctors and the great doctors to be there to provide mentorship, leadership of the pathways for junior doctors, so, whilst we probably had that 10 or 15 years ago, unfortunately we've fallen way behind and this has been reflected in the last few years, particularly six to ten there's being a high reliance on international medical graduates working as interns and RMO's in Tasmania, not just in Launceston and Burnie, but also in Hobart and also a reliance on also registrars, so we have had a reliance because we can't attract and retain.”

Dr Lumsden-Steele said there was a big disparity with registrars, with salaries in Tasmania $15000 to $30000 below other jurisdictions. This becomes particularly significant during rotation programs.[54]

Dr Lumsden-Steele submitted the application does not seek parity with the other jurisdictions, but rather an updated and modernised classification pathway. Inherent in the proposal is a move from 38 to 40 hours per week for registrars. He said:[55]

“And the critical point is that, you know, it's again about attracting and retaining your good doctors and your great doctors and not just putting a doctor in the job and having to rely, as we know in Tasmania on overseas trained doctors extensively in the past.”

Dr Lumsden-Steele contended that if you have good registrars it actually encourages specialists to work in regional areas as it facilitates a sharing of the on-call load.[56]

Dr Cooper said that intensive care is an area which has struggled to recruit junior staff of high calibre which places an even greater burden on senior staff.

Dr McArthur’s evidence is that it is hard to recruit registrars in the Mental Health area, leading to shortage of staff and a negative impact on the ability to take leave.

Dr Greenaway’s evidence is:[57]

“So PGY1 and 2 years, but the discrepancy between that – between the Tasmanian Award and the mainland really starts to kick in beyond that and we have examples now of registrars who are employed, for example in Victoria, because Tasmania in many specialities, including my own, is part of – or Tasmania is part of the Victorian and Tasmanian Training Program, who are saying that they won’t work under the Tasmanian Award, they won’t.”

The applicant tendered a document outlining the various salary points in each of the interstate jurisdictions.[58] The document is summarised in the table below.

Doctors in Training Interstate Comparison as December 2014

|Classification |Average of jurisdictions |Tasmania existing |AMA Tas proposal |

| |other than Tas | | |

| |$ |$ |$ |

|intern |65236 |60427 |66997 |

|Post grad year 2 |72805 |64447 |71686 |

|Post grad year 3 |79155 |67245 |76376 |

|Post grad year 4 |89632 |72652 |81066 |

|Post grad year 5 |95576 |80420 |90445 |

|Post grad year 6 |103076 |87340 |97145 |

|Post grad year 7 |108909 |91662 |103845 |

|Post grad year 8 |114737 |95986 |110544 |

|Post grad year 9 |119584 |101521 |117244 |

|Registrar year 1 |93084 |78220 |90445 |

|Registrar year 2 |98893 |83025 |97145 |

|Registrar year 3 |104637 |88316 |103845 |

|Registrar year 4 |110403 |92847 |110544 |

|Registrar year 5 |116845 | |117244 |

|Registrar year 6 |121905 | | |

|Registrar year 7 |134014 | | |

|Senior registrar yr 1 |128533 |104085 |123944 |

|Senior registrar yr 2 |138163 |110682 |130643 |

|Senior registrar yr 3 |133306 | |137343 |

|Senior registrar yr4 | | |144042 |

The evidence of Dr Renshaw covered a range of issues, summarised below.

Doctor density in Tasmania has increased significantly since 1999 and are close to or slightly higher than the national average.[59]

Average hours worked per doctor has decreased since 1999 in line with the national trend.[60]

The largest growth area has been the ‘specialist in training category’ (105% between 1999 and 2009).[61]

Medical school intakes have more than doubled between 2000 and 2010. One of the challenges is dealing with the volume of junior doctors coming through the system.[62]

Dr Renshaw said the LGH has employed increasing numbers of University of Tasmania (UTAS) graduates. He noted that for some positions it is difficult to recruit locally and as a consequence the LGH runs a successful program of training overseas graduates during their internship. To date 25 international medical graduates had come through the program and are now entering the Australian workforce.[63]

Dr Renshaw said there were currently 75 funded intern positions across the State. He said that applicants far exceed available positions and had increased from 260 in 2010 to 518 in 2014.[64]Dr Renshaw did acknowledge however that a considerable amount of duplication was involved with individuals applying for multiple positions.[65]

The total number of FTE doctors employed under the Tasmanian Award had increased from 594 in 2008 to 820 in 2014.[66]

Dr Renshaw said the number of UTAS graduates was currently between 115 and 120 which has grown for 80-90 in 2008. Of these, about 75% gain a position within Tasmania. A number of UTAS graduates seek employment interstate but in his experience they invariably get a job somewhere.[67]

Dr Renshaw’s evidence is:[68]

“PRESIDENT: And are we employing overseas trained doctors because there’s not enough local ones or is there some other reason?

WITNESS: It’s a moveable feast. If we’ve got an empty position and we haven’t got a locally trained applicant then we’ll -

PRESIDENT: Well I daresay what I’m leading through is, at one level if you took – if you look at R4 you would say there’s an oversupply of graduate doctors yet we’re still employing overseas trained doctors, and I’m just trying to get the picture as to whether there is an oversupply or a shortage of –

WITNESS: And that’s a very good question For the last three years we’ve been fearing the tsunami that we’ve got and all these medical graduates coming out and there will be no – but because of various commitments given by jurisdictions about the training positions and internships and so on, somehow there seem to be more than enough positions in Australia for Australian medical graduates.

PRESIDENT: More than enough – that implies a shortage?

WITNESS: Well –

PRESIDENT: Or a balance at least?

WITNESS: At the moment it appears that we are in balance Australia wide. Tasmania being a small jurisdiction probably gets the flux a little bit more than a larger jurisdiction like New South Wales or Queensland.”

And later:[69]

“All right. So if I can just move onto the broader attraction/retention issues, and we covered it briefly in May, as I said, but can I perhaps get you to provide this Commission with a bit of an overview with respect to junior doctors and attraction and retention and recruitment from your perspective?…..Do you want me to talk just about the current situation or traditionally over the last few years?

Perhaps how – the state of the nation today but perhaps how it may have changed over time? ...All right. We'll start with the first year doctors – the interns. Because Tasmania produces interns from the University of Tasmania, we try and concentrate on recruiting coming out of the University of Tasmania. We've had variable success over the years from a time when we were not graduating enough interns to meet the Tasmanian demand and there was a fair amount of competition between the three hospitals, and sometimes we didn't recruit many from Tasmania – University of Tasmania, so we would seek to recruit interstate. But at the moment we have for coming into next year, at the moment, and it usually changes in November/December as people change their mind or decide to go elsewhere, we are currently fully subscribed with Tasmanian graduates for our internship, and that was the same last year, up until about December, when we were about two short of what we required. But, basically, the internships – and because there is an over – well, not an oversupply, but there are more interns currently being graduated around Australia at the moment, we don't seem to be having trouble with the interns. The resident medical officer level, which is the slightly more experienced level – that's the second year and beyond resident medical officers – we have, once again, variable issues with attracting RMOs. There are some RMOs who wish to come to – so that they are well-placed to apply for a training position in a registrar training – and if we can offer a range of terms that is attractive to these doctors, they will stay with us. We're not always in that position so, for instance, anaesthetic terms in the past – we've had not – probably not enough for the demand from RMOs and that has seen – we have sometimes struggled to attract RMOs who wish to make anaesthesia their career but that has – that is variable. Certainly, we've got a good retention rate for people who wish to do surgery and general medicine. Some of the sub-specialties – sorry, and emergency medicine is also a very popular one for people to stay to do – but, for instance, we only have a very small paediatric unit and relatively small obstetric unit and we aren't able to provide as many terms in those areas that we would like. So it's around the attractiveness of the term options for RMOs. We also, of course, with our RMOs, have a number of overseas-trained doctors, particularly those who are studying towards, getting their full Australian registration as doctors. We are very strong contributors to what we call workplace-based assessment, where we have a number of doctors who are basically doing continual assessment under the supervision of Australian doctors whilst working as resident medical officers and also as registrars within the system, and that's been because we are able to provide very good quality supervision, assessments and a good variety for general practice or general, you know, medicine. We've been able to attract quite a few people through that, and of pretty good quality, as well.”

In relation to remuneration, Dr Renshaw said:[70]

“So, and would changes to remuneration make that differently attractive?…..I don't think that's the major, major incentive for junior staff at that stage of their career. Obviously, we are competing with interstate and that may be a factor, but most junior doctors seems to be wanting to position themselves to pursue the specialty training that they want and I would think that that is a more important incentive for them than the remuneration.”

Conclusions

The number of doctors employed within the public system has, perhaps surprisingly, increased significantly over recent years. During the same period the number of medical graduates and doctors undergoing specialist training has also increased substantially.

The number of applicants for intern positions in Tasmania, on its face, suggests an oversupply. However this is not necessarily the case. There is still reliance to some extent on overseas trained graduates and it would seem that UTAS graduates have little difficulty in finding employment either in Tasmania or elsewhere. The evidence of Dr Renshaw is that there is “more than enough positions in Australia for Australian medical graduates.”

On the available evidence I conclude that the supply and demand equation for interns and residents appears to be in balance. It would seem that there may be some difficulty, particularly in the regional hospitals, in attracting registrars of the desired standard which has in turn led to the employment of overseas trained doctors. There is, however, no evidence of a serious and systemic shortage.

In relation to specialists the supply/demand position is mixed. There is no doubt that the regional hospitals have a much greater difficulty in attracting specialists than does the RHH. This in turn has led to heavy reliance on locum appointments, of which more is said later in the decision.

In some specialty areas the evidence suggests that there is little difficulty in attracting suitable candidates, whereas in other areas severe shortages has led to an inability to fill positions, ‘special deals’, locum appointments or a combination of these outcomes.

There is also evidence of a trend for specialists to opt for part-time contracts in order to take advantage of the relative attractiveness of private sector remuneration.

On any measure, remuneration packages applicable under the Tasmanian award/agreement are at the bottom of the spectrum in terms of arrangements available in interstate jurisdictions. The differential is significant in terms of DIT, and even more profound for specialists.

This position is of course not unique to medical practitioners. Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings in Tasmania are approximately 18% below the national average.[71]

As a general rule it would seem that specialists employed within the Tasmanian system do so for reasons other than financial. Uppermost in this sense is lifestyle, whereby for many, Tasmania enjoys a distinct competitive advantage. This cannot be ignored; but by the same token, nor can it be relied upon to offset financial differentials of a magnitude which might compromise the State’s capacity to deliver a health system which meets community expectations.

National parity, if there is such a notion, is likely unaffordable. The challenge is to find the right balance.

Nationally Efficient Price and Clinical Outcomes

The Commonwealth funding component is based on an activity based funding model, which in turn is based on the concept of Nationally Efficient Price (NEP). Mr Kirwan described the NEP as a complex algorithm which identifies the average component costs of an activity, such as a hip replacement.

It is accepted that the Tasmanian hospital system operates above the NEP, although the actual performance varies from hospital to hospital.

Data on hospital costing is collected by the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority. The 2011-12 Report reveals the following:[72]

Average cost per separation

|Jurisdiction |Cost |

| |$ |

| NSW | 5253 |

| Vic | 4017 |

| Qld | 4828 |

| SA | 5974 |

| WA | 5115 |

| Tas | 5503 |

| NT | 3906 |

| ACT | 6365 |

| National | 4851 |

The evidence before the Commission indicates that approximately 70% of cash budgets relate to labour costs. Given that salary related costs for medical practitioners are at the lower end of the national spectrum, this raised the question of why Tasmania’s average cost per separation is significantly above the national average.

Mr Kirwan explained that the NEP includes capital and equipment costs. He observed further that Tasmania has a very distributed system whereby the majority of the population lives outside the capital city. This in turn leads to significant infrastructure costs not replicated in other jurisdictions. Mr Kirwan’s evidence is that Tasmania’s relatively high cost structure is “not generated by pay as such which is but a component of the total picture.”[73]

The evidence of Mr Basire is:[74]

“And you said that you run a lean operation and -…Yes.

- you’ve made the cuts that you can -…Yes, and we’re still above the national efficient price. I’m not terribly surprised by that. Again, given the nature of the community that we have and the size of the output and the fact that we have two hospitals that we’re running rather than one, it’s almost inevitable that we will run above the national efficient price – remember that’s an average.”

Mr Henshaw gave evidence relating to a paper titled Indicators for changes to patient care and outcomes since 2009.[75]

In terms of clinical outcomes, Mr Henshaw’s evidence is:

• Separations with adverse events in Tasmania increased between 2009/10 and 2011/12 and has the highest rate of any Australian jurisdiction.

• Of the seven procedures included in the unplanned readmissions indicator, four were higher (worse) in 2012/13 than in 2008/09, one was lower, one was the same and for one there was insufficient data.

Against the background of enhanced remuneration packages for specialists arising out of the 2009 Agreement, Mr Henshaw’s evidence is that on a review of the international literature, he could find no evidence that the general level of doctor’s remuneration is connected to quality of care. There is evidence that targeted payments can lead to improved quality or improved outcomes.

Whilst I have no reason to question the evidence of Mr Henshaw, it does leave unanswered questions.

From the evidence the picture that presents is that the Tasmanian health system:

• Is relatively high cost

• Has clinical outcome which are less than optimal and may even have declined over recent years

• Has remuneration arrangements which are at the bottom end of the national spectrum.

The evidence of Dr Greenaway in relation to the 2009 agreement is:[76]

“Okay. And do you believe that there was a – that specialists were more engaged after this change?…That’s a difficult question to ask; there was acknowledgement of the improvement in the award which was delivered. Certainly there were pay increments delivered at that stage but the reality is, the award then and now still lag significantly behind equivalent awards on the mainland. It’s a difficult question to ask. Certainly the surveys of our members, the AMA’s – which the AMA has done as part of this process, there is still broad widespread, I guess, dismay at the discrepancy between the award in Tasmania and that that exists – or those that exist on the mainland.”

Dr Greenaway also acknowledged that the 2014 Report pointed to an element of clinical disengagement.

I accept Mr Henshaw’s evidence that he was unable to find any literature suggesting that “broad remuneration of doctors has any demonstrable link to outcomes.” However, taken literally, this observation could lead to some bizarre conclusions which I am sure was not intended by Mr Henshaw. For example, if the salary scale was capped at second year resident level, the hospitals would be staffed at or about that level. Put simply, there would likely be no senior specialist clinicians employed at all, with obvious negative detriment to clinical outcomes.

I accept without hesitation that remuneration packages are an important (but not the only) component of the attraction/retention equation. Whether or not an improvement in remuneration packages for existing staff will improve clinical outcomes is debatable. But if the right people cannot firstly be attracted, and secondly, retained, then there will be inevitable negative impacts on clinical outcomes.

Locum Costs

On any measure there is clearly a heavy reliance on locum appointments, particularly in the North West and to a lesser extent, the LGH.

The evidence indicates that the cost of employing locums is approximately 80% higher than that of an equivalent specialist in direct employment.[77]

The following table summarises to cost of locum appointments over recent years.[78]

Locum Costs 2011/12 - 2013/14

| |2011/12 |2012/ 13 |2013/14 |

|THO-N |n/a |$4,050,801 |$4,172,727 |

|THO-NW |n/a |$10,415,861 |$7,446,672 |

|THO-South |n/a |$1,188,760 |$1,679,185 |

|Statewide & Mental Health |n/a |$1,721,071 | |

|Total cost |$22,700,000 |$17,376,493 |$13,298,584 |

|Total FTE |n/a |29 |18 |

There is clearly a downward trend in terms of cost and the number of locums engaged. Nonetheless the cost is substantial. Based on the 80% premium referred to above, the additional cost over and above the direct employment of specialists is approximately $6m per annum (pa). Whilst it is probably unrealistic to reduce the engagement of locums to zero, there is clearly scope for substantial savings through the substitution of direct employment for locums.

A number of witnesses for the applicant gave evidence in relation to locums. They included Dr Greenaway,[79] Dr Daubenton,[80] Dr Cooper,[81] Dr McArthur,[82] Dr Roberts-Thompson,[83] and Associate Professor Skinner.[84] In the main their evidence went to the issue of recruitment difficulties associated with what they perceived as an uncompetitive remuneration structure. In addition, Dr Cooper identified other operational difficulties associated with locum appointments. His evidence is:[85]

“So what other challenges face running an intensive care unit if you don’t have regular staff?…Everything becomes slower, everything becomes harder. The people that – the locum staff are unfamiliar with the systems in the hospital, they don’t know who to contact specifically to get certain specific things done, they don’t know the systems that are in place, they don’t know the protocols, the policies that are in place. For example, to move patients between institutions, between departments, and they don’t know where things are in the physical layout of the unit, so doing procedural procedures such as an emergency resuscitation, they struggle, it’s slower and less efficient. They cost more money. Having worked as a locum myself in the past, the rates at which locums are routinely paid exceed those which the regular employees are paid at. That unfortunately diverts resources away from the front line – well from other aspects of the front line services, yeah.”

The evidence of Dr Renshaw is that the LGH has made a “reasonable” use of locums in some areas of the LGH but the incidence of locum appointments is declining. He felt that the ‘market allowance’ concept would assist in addressing the attraction/retention issue.[86]

Mr Basire agreed that THO-NW has a disproportionate reliance on locums. His explanation for this position is:[87]

“As I indicated earlier on, with a small number of speciality services, which in themselves are also very small, it’s very hard to recruit to those specialities and therefore, there is an increased reliance on more short term solutions, which unfortunately are more expensive.”

Mr Basire does not believe the applicant’s claim if granted would remove the need for all locums as there would still be the ongoing “problem with the configuration of our services.”

Cost of Claim

The respondent presented detailed costing of the claim through the evidence of Mr Bond[88]. Mr Bond used a costing model with was both detailed and robust. Mr Bond was an impressive witness and I am indebted for his evidence.

Mr Bond’s evidence is that the total cost of the claim for 2014/15 and 2015/16, including back pay to December 2012, is $86,008,000.

In terms of annual recurrent cost, the breakdown for 2015/16 is:

$000

• Indexation (3.5%) 20121

• Career structure 6850

• Indexation on career structure 898

• Change in excess time clause (40 hour week) (1798)

• Sabbatical expenses/Allowance 1943

• Motor vehicle expenses/Allowance 1229

• CPD expenses /Allowance 4535

• Private Practice Scheme 7782

• Total cost of TSMPS claim 41560

• Comparison to base 41560

• Comparison to previous Government wages policy 32193

• Comparison to December 2013 DHHS proposal 29088

• Other items

• CPI 1401

• Increase in SG rate 1300

In terms of funding the claim, the evidence of Ms Patterson is that the only cash reserve set aside is $1.3m from the LGH.[89] In explanation of this position, Ms Patterson said:[90]

“And do you have any understanding why that's the case?.....In terms of why the amounts?

Why THO North West – why there's no money in the bank?.....Because as I said they had overspent last year and had to be I guess bailed out by both Treasury and ourselves to the tune of $7 million and so they didn't actually have the cash available to back their calculation or the amount that they thought that they'd need.

So they didn't quarantine an amount of money?.....No.

Okay. All right. Thank you?.. And the South hasn't identified an amount. Whilst there were amounts identified during the year that they thought they were – they might have had to have paid last year they certainly haven't identified anything they've identified as a risk this year and I think all THO's have identified that whatever the outcome of this is it'd be a risk to them.”

From the evidence the only means of funding the claim in whole or in part is through savings strategies, and this would inevitably lead to service cuts. I refer to the evidence of Mr Kirwan[91], Mr Basire[92], Mr Watson[93]and Ms Purse.[94]

It is patently obvious that the respondent is facing serious financial challenges and the picture painted in terms of potential service cuts may well be a reality. It does however raise the question of just what it is the respondent is asking the Commission to do. Is the respondent asking the Commission to limit the outcome of this claim to the $1.3m envelope available as a cash reserve, noting the DHHS ‘offer’ in December 2013[95] and recent 2% salary agreements across much of the State Service? In my view such an outcome would be quite inequitable and given the significance of this occupational group to public health and safety, the industrial implications of such a result would likely be entirely inconsistent with the public interest.

However if there is a costing figure in excess of $1.3m but less than the applicant’s claim which is acceptable to the respondent, it was not made known to the Commission. Needless to say I am very conscious of the cost implications and this consideration has been uppermost in attempting to determine an outcome which balances the competing tensions of equity versus cost.

In closing submissions Mr Green submitted that the evidence points to a failure to act and take decisive action to rein in expenditure on the part of the respondent.[96]

It is not the role of the Commission to determine savings measures. However in the circumstances of the current claim and evidence regarding costing, it is useful to note savings/expenditure measures, which on the evidence of respondent witnesses, have had a negative impact on the financial position of the Tasmanian Health Organisations (THOs). These examples include:

• Failure to fully deliver on past savings strategies[97]

• Staff reductions in the past have turned around in recent times and are now at levels in place prior to reductions.[98] The evidence of Mr Watson is:[99]

“Oh as an outsider coming in and prior to getting there having some understanding of the history of financial challenges in the organisation, because they have been well documented and reported, I must admit I was somewhat surprised at the trajectory of the FTE situation. It appeared from the basis of the numbers, if you like, that a considerable effort was put into reducing the workforce and at the same time maintaining service delivery because when you matched it against activity levels the activity levels didn’t similarly move down, so there were generally driving efficiencies and innovation undoubtedly in the way things were delivered and then it had just appeared to stop for whatever reason, and I can’t really speculate why, and employment just started shooting back up again.”

• Reopening of the Nell Williams unit in response to ambulance ramping[100]

• Provision of services and activities in excess of that required by service agreement and for which there is no funding[101]

• Reduction in length of stay without a commensurate reduction in beds, thus leading to ‘churning’[102]

• Duplication of services which leads to increased costs[103]

• Less than optimal allocation of resources on North West coast[104]

Retrospectivity

The application seeks a retrospective salary adjustment of 3.5% from December 2012 and a further 3.5% salary increase from December 2013.

The respondent opposes the retrospective element which is costed at $11.4m.[105]

Section 37(4) and (5) of the IRA reads:

“37. Signature, operation and lodging of awards, &c.



(4) Subject to this section, the provisions of an award have effect on and from the date on which the award is made or on such later date or dates as the Commission determines and as is or are respectively specified in the award.

(5) The Commission may, in an award, give retrospective effect to the whole or any part of the award –

(a) if and to the extent that the parties to the award so agree; or

(b) if, in the opinion of the Commission, there are special circumstances that make it fair and right to do so.”

Thus there is a presumption that an award will have a prospective operative date unless special circumstances exist which justify retrospectivity.

The respondent submits that no such special circumstances exist. In Cheval Properties Pty Ltd v Jeanette Smithers[106] the Full Bench referred to the Macquarie Dictionary definition of “exceptional” as “forming an exceptional or unusual instance, unusual or extraordinary.” Mr Kleyn submitted that in this context the term ‘exceptional’ is similar to the word ‘special’.

The respondent also referred to the Full Bench decision in T4579[107]. However apart from indicating that the precise reason/s justifying retrospectively must be identified, I find this decision unhelpful in identifying the criteria which might justify ‘special circumstances’.

Mr Green submitted that whilst accepting that ‘exceptional’ was akin to ‘special’, this does not mean that the circumstances need to be unique, unprecedented or rare, it just needs to be matters which are not readily or routinely encountered. In this case the Agency’s approach to bargaining is sufficient to provide a proper basis for retrospectivity.

It is axiomatic that an offer made during the bargaining process, if rejected, no longer has force. In this case the applicant consciously embarked on the arbitration course in the knowledge that any retrospectivity which might otherwise apply, would be at severe risk.

In this case the respondent, whilst initially tardy in commencing negotiations, did no more than strictly apply the then Government’s wages policy. Whilst this was no doubt frustrating for the applicant, it was a position which was open to the respondent in a bargaining environment. However firm the respondent’s position might be viewed, it did include salary offers with operative dates consistent with reasonable expectations.

Once the applicant embarked on the arbitration process, the proceedings inevitably became protracted. Given the nature and extent of the claims, this would have come as no surprise to the applicant. The respondent was not responsible for any unreasonable delays during the arbitration process.

The applicant entered this process with eyes open. Previous offers, having been rejected, no longer have any persuasive value.

I am unable to identify any circumstances which I would categorise as ‘special’ within the meaning of s37.

The claim for retrospectivity is denied and any award arising from this decision, will, consistent with s37, operate prospectively.

The Way Ahead

There is an inherent tension between the position of the parties, not just in terms of detail, but fundamental structure.

The applicant contends that relevant industrial instrument (in this case the award), should be both transparent and reflective of what actually applies, without reliance on special deals to meet the market in individual cases.

The respondent on the other hand contends that the award should be a minimum safety net, with scope for bargained outcomes in terms of across the board salary structures, with a ‘Market Allowance’ clause to accommodate individuals who, in a supply/demand equation, are able to command remuneration packages in excess of what might be regarded as the norm.

In a traditional industrial relations environment, whereby the tribunal has jurisdiction over multiple private sector employers, the respondent’s position has force and it is this setting in which much of the case law relating to bargaining has evolved. However the position in the Tasmanian State Sector is now quite different.

The Tasmanian Industrial Commission only has jurisdiction in relation to the State Service. There is only one employer. In this context the notion of a safety net salary structure with bargained outcomes above it becomes quite meaningless. Indeed since 2008 it has been permissible for State Sector Awards to reflect agreed bargaining outcomes.[108] Since that time there has been increasing trend for awards to reflect what is actually being applied in the workplace. My own view is that this is an entirely sensible development in circumstances where there is only one employer. It would not be desirable for awards covering multiple private sector employers, but of course, that is no longer the case.

The case for a safety net structure in Tasmanian State Service awards seems to me to be somewhat esoteric, given that on the respondent’s own submission, the State is not permitted to pay over award. Irrespective of whether it is award or agreement based, the starting point for the next bargaining round will inevitably be what is currently observed in the field, not some out-dated notion of a safety net.

The existing regulatory position in relation to salaried specialists is in my view seriously flawed.

The respondent contends that by virtue of s38 of the State Service Act 2000 (SSA), employees must be paid in accordance with the relevant award. Salaried medical practitioners must be engaged either as ‘employees’ (s37 of SSA), or as an ‘officer’ under s31. This latter provision relates to an ‘office’ to cover duties of “senior executive nature or equivalent specialist nature” specified in s29 of the SSA.

Employment Direction No 17 (ED17), states in relation to ‘equivalent specialist roles’:

“There are other equivalent specialist roles which do not align to the Tasmanian State Service Senior Executive Leadership Capability Framework as they are not specifically senior executive in nature but rather require professional specialist skills and knowledge sourced from a highly competitive labour market where award provisions do not adequately meet the market for attraction and retention e.g. highly specialised medical clinicians. Such roles will be rare.”(my emphasis)

It is this provision that is intended to cover medical specialists who are not ‘employees’ covered by the award/agreement.

This issue was canvassed in Wareing v THO – North West,[109]an application pursued under s50 of the SSA.

In that matter the Crown contended that it was necessary for an ‘office’ to be precisely identified and created. It was not open to rely on generic descriptors such as ‘psychiatrist’. In Dr Wareing’s case the Crown contended that he was not an ‘employee’ and no ‘office’ had been created to embrace his role as a clinical director. Dr Waring therefore had no standing under the SSA and could not pursue the s50 application. If the Crown’s contention is correct, there are numerous other individual specialists who are similarly disenfranchised under the SSA. This is an untenable situation, which, it must be said, is of the respondent’s own making.

In my view the ‘equivalent specialist’ concept is a clumsy mechanism fraught with legal uncertainty. A far better approach is to design the industrial instrument (in this case the award) so as to render the ‘equivalent specialist’ notion, insofar as medical specialists are concerned, as unnecessary and obsolete. That said, I accept the respondent’s submission that this should not simply mean bringing everyone up to the highest common denominator. The conclusions that follow are intended to achieve this objective.

Salary Increase

The 2009 Agreement provided, in the case of DIT, the following salary increases:

• One off payment of $625 from December 2009

• 1% from December 2009

• 1% from December 2010

• 2.5% from December 2011

The classification structure for specialists was fundamentally restructured in the 2009 Agreement, moving to the 11 year structure currently in place. As a consequence of this change it is difficult to identify any general level of salary adjustment in the first and subsequent years of the agreement. Suffice to say the level of salary adjustment was significantly in excess of that which applied to DIT.

The respondent tendered a document tracing the history of salary movements in health related categories and the wider State Service.[110] The document is summarised in the table below:

|Year |Nurses |

| | |

| | |

| |% |

|15 < 20 |210763 |

|20 < 25 |216617 |

|>25 |222472 |

Note: The amended claim includes a Private Practice Scheme (PPS) component of 35%.[122]For ease of understanding this component has been removed from the above table, but the end result is the same.

Much of the evidence relating to the alleged uncompetitive nature of the existing remuneration structure is referred to in the section dealing with the ‘Market for Salaried Medical Practitioners.’ Additional evidence specific to the proposed classification structure includes the following.

The evidence of Dr Greenaway is:[123]

“At the time that you become a consultant is the time immediately subsequent to your successful passing of the college examinations. At that time whilst eligible to fulfil your academic and role as a clinician you certainly do not have the experience associated with teaching, with involvement in hospital culture, in clinical governance, and that comes with experience and with involvement with the hospital system over a period of many years. This goes to the reason that other states and jurisdictions have classifications for senior specialists in their award classification structure because of the recognition that the senior specialist is pivotal to safe, effective hospital practice and to outcomes that best serve the community.”

Dr Greenaway noted that there is no mechanism or allowance paid for taking on additional responsibilities such as committees. This is in contrast to the position in other jurisdictions whereby seniority is recognised [124]

Dr Greenaway agreed that these additional responsibilities are largely referred to in existing definitions. His evidence is:[125]

“…the intent of the AMA solution is to provide appropriate remuneration for this degree of the significance of the work which is, in terms of teaching, training, quality assurance, well above the clinical duties that are more usually associated with junior staff, it’s simply a recognition as is available in every other state and jurisdiction of the significance of the role that is performed by medical practitioners with my – and I don’t wish to personalise it too much, but with my seniority and level of experience and qualifications. But I accept that they are stated here.”

On the relationship between the proposed structure and clinical engagement, Dr Greenaway said:[126]

“Mr Double asked you about – and in turn the classification structure as being an impediment to engagement and whether it should be – whether it should be changed. Is it as simple as that, is it simply – is it as simple as saying that if you have a classification structure that it is acceptable to you or the TSMPS membership that that alone would remove any impediments?……No, but – but I think that what was clear from the surveys we’ve done of our members and from discussions that we’ve had that have been very inclusive, as you know, is that a structure that recognised senior clinicians for the roles that they fulfil that are fundamental to the organisation, or to any health care organisation, would go some considerable way, I think, in ensuring that there was continued engagement of these doctors. I don’t think – I guess I’m editorialising again, I just don’t think Tasmania can rely on special deals for special doctors at the whim of some members in the department. I think it has to be a more open transparent process that simply looks at recognising the role that senior doctors play, that is broadly competitive and that allows – or the department longer term to avoid paying these deals because I don’t think it’s sustainable.”

Dr Greenaway said the applicant was prepared to consider the concept of additional grades as an alternative to a ‘years of service’ basis.

Associate Professor Skinner agreed that extra levels at the top of the structure is a transparent and clear way to recognize and reward clinical experience.[127] His evidence is:[128]

“Now I see strategically unless there is a recognition of a tiered response, particularly at the senior level – middle and senior level – but particularly retention at the senior level, many of the clinical directors and senior clinicians who are providing that governance do not stay.

PRESIDENT: Doctor, what do you mean by tiered response?

WITNESS: So the levels – at the moment within our current award – I mean the highest level – I mean I’m a – specialist graduated 1994 so I’m twenty years now. After year eleven there is no – so I’m nine years more than an eleven year peak person who in my department has no directorial component and yes, we do have a directorial component within the Salaried Medical Practitioners’ Award of not less than 5 per cent, but at the end of my day I have members in my department who are nine years junior to me who are on the same base salary and –

PRESIDENT: I understand.

WITNESS: I’ve looked across the country and there are very few other jurisdictions where that seniority is not recognised.”

For the respondent, the evidence of Dr Renshaw is:[129]

“In the proposal there is the suggestion that there is a 12, a 13th, and a 14th level if you like, it's described as years, but it's probably perhaps better described as levels, because the milestone to get to the 12th level is 15 years' experience or 15 years out of fellowship, level 13 is 20 years and then 25 years for the top level, level 14. Can I – I've been unable to work out what's the magic about the milestones. What's so magical about 15, 20, 25 years?...I have no idea.

Okay, is there an association in your experience between either the 15, the 25 or the 25 years in terms of perhaps, being a supervisor doing college exams, any other – being on management committees?...We would expect our more experienced, as they become more and more experienced and our older statesman amongst our specialists would take on those sorts of responsibilities including being director of training or sitting on advisory committees or so on, but there are a number of specialists who just come in, do their work and go home and they're there for 20, 25 years.

And equally would there be some specialists with under 15 years' experience, or rather 15 years of their fellowship who equally would sit on some of those committees, boards and so forth?.....Some of our more active specialty leaders are actually some of our youngest leaders still.

All right. Is there are a correlation between craft groups that you may have difficulty recruiting, so, for example, you know, you talked about plastic surgery or ear, nose and throat and the number of years of service?.....Well you do tend to recruit – when we can recruit, they tend to be more inexperienced so not – certainly not in that level, no.

So, perhaps if I can just rephrase that. The areas that you express some difficulty in recruiting, is there a correlation between years of experience or years out of their fellowship, and your clinical needs?.....No.”

Dr Renshaw said that in the context of the proposed classification structure, there had not been a significant addition to work value.[130]

A review of agreements/awards applicable interstate reveals that clinical seniority is widely recognised. The following are examples.[131]

• ACT Senior specialist

• NSW Senior staff specialist

• NT Senior staff specialist years 1-3

• Queensland Staff specialist senior status

Staff specialist eminent status

Staff specialist pre-eminent status

• South Australia Senior consultant level 5 - 9

The Western Australian Agreement does not specifically identify senior consultants with the base salary ranging from $171763 in year 1 to $253774 in year 9.[132]

In a similar vein the Victorian ‘contract’ scale ranges from $248727 in year 1 to $324426 in year 9.[133]

The base salaries applicable across this senior category vary widely within the range of $190000 to $346000.

For reasons discussed earlier in this decision it is readily apparent to me that, notwithstanding the 2009 restructure, the salary scale for specialists in Tasmania is generally uncompetitive and needs to be addressed. To continue with the status quo will, on the available evidence, be to the detriment of the attraction and retention of specialists, particularly at the more senior levels. To try and match interstate jurisdictions across the board would be particularly expensive and it seems to me that a more targeted approach would achieve a better outcome.

I acknowledge that like DIT, there has not been a net addition to work value which would justify a change to the classification structure. The changes I propose are in recognition of past shortcomings and the reality of the medical market place.

I accept to some extent the evidence of Dr Renshaw in respect of the years of service approach. Whilst there is clearly a significant experiential element in the development of medical practitioners, and as a general rule, more is expected of senior clinicians, it is not inviolate relationship.

I propose three additional salary points at the top of the scale which will be designated as senior staff specialist. Industrial practicalities dictate that the initial translation will be based on years of service since fellowship. However after the initial translation, entry to this level will be by appointment in accordance with definitional criteria. The parties are invited to confer on such definitions/criteria prior to the order being settled.

There should also be an avoidance of double dipping. This means that any specialist who translates to one of these new levels, who is receipt of a special payment in the nature attraction/retention, which exceeds 35% (PPS or equivalent) of base salary plus on call allowance, is to have the excess component absorbed against the increased salary arising from the new salary point. This of course excludes the 6.5% general salary adjustment which would otherwise have been payable on the year 11 rate.

Care should also be exercised in relation to the Managerial Allowance. Any existing Managerial Allowance, in excess of the minimum 5 %, should be converted to a dollar amount based on the percentage of the new ear 11 salary. This dollar amount should then be applied to the new salary point and converted to a new percentage which is to apply into the future.

Examples of how the above absorption process and Managerial Allowance should apply are found at Appendices 2 and 3.

The new classification structure will be as follows:

Translation

Specialists employed as at 23/1/2015 will, if eligible, translate to the Senior Staff Specialist Grade on the following basis:

• 15 but less than 20 years since gaining Fellowship Grade 1

• 20 but less than 25 years since gaining Fellowship Grade 2

• More than 25 years since gaining Fellowship Grade 3

Specialists who translate to either Grade 1 or 2 in accordance with this schedule will be eligible to be subsequently appointed to a higher grade in accordance with the definitional criteria.

Market Allowance

The respondent tendered a proposal to include a ‘Market Allowances’ clause in the following terms:[134]

“MARKET ALLOWANCE – SPECIALIST MEDICAL PRACTITIONER

a. The employer may determine to pay a market allowance above the maximum salary of the classification and level where it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the employer that the following applies to a specific Salaried Medical Practitioner role:

i) Recognised highly specialist skills not currently available in the public health system in Tasmania, or

ii) Skills that are universally recognised as scarce, or

iii) High paying market for the particular role and or specialty resulting in an inability to attract and retain at Award rates.

b. Any Market Allowance may be approved by the employer for a maximum period of three years only. After this period, any market allowance being paid will lapse unless it is reapproved in accordance with the provisions of this clause.

c. The Employer is to establish procedures, monitoring and reporting requirements for submissions and approval of a market allowance relevant to a specific Salaried Medical Practitioner role.”

In support of this proposal Mr Double said that supply and demand considerations varied considerably between occupational groups and/or regional areas. He submitted:[135]

“It's our submission that a market allowance clause – and I'll go through it in some detail in a moment – provides a flexibility to deal with the issues associated with recruitment and retention based on supply and demand changes and it also allows us to revisit that from time to time to ensure that we are paying for the skill or for the – in accordance with the market.

It adds some transparencies – some transparency with respect to the payment arrangements that are made and allows us to get away with the perception, or in some cases perhaps a reality of special deals or over award payments.”

And later:[136]

“So as I've said the intention of the market allowance is … a way to deal with recognising attraction and retention issues but also recognising that there is not a universal scarceness of specialists and it allows us to have some flexibility with recognising the changes in the market which, to some extent, is currently probably less than transparently managed through various instruments and various way…”

Dr Renshaw expressed support for the market allowance concept.[137]

The position of the applicant as I understand it is that it does not support the notion of a market allowance as the complete answer to what it contends is the uncompetitive nature of the Award/Agreement. However if the other elements of the application are addressed appropriately, a market allowance clause would be a useful supplement.

I readily acknowledge that the supply/demand equation varies quite widely between occupational groups and/or regional locations. The changes proposed for the classification structure, should, when coupled with other provisions arising from this decision, provide a realistic remuneration structure which would apply in the majority of cases. The notion of a market allowance will in my view provide a useful supplement to the award provisions in situations whereby the market considerations are beyond what can reasonably be accommodated in the broader award structure.

I propose to include the clause as advanced by the respondent.

Private Practice Scheme (PPS)

Currently the 2009 agreement provides for a clause in the following terms.

“48. PRIVATE PRACTICE ARRANGEMENTS

a) A Salaried Medical Practitioner may, within the public hospital setting in which they are employed, enter into a private practice arrangement with the employer, whereby the employer agrees to allow the SMP to use the hospital’s facilities in order to provide medical services to private patients and, for which services, fees are charged by or on behalf of the SMP.

b) The terms and conditions of such private practice arrangements are to be specified and agreed in writing between the employer and the SMP, subject to the requirement that the provision of such services shall not, in any way, hinder the proper performance of the duties and responsibilities of the SMP as an employee.”

The application seeks to include two new clauses in the Award.

The first clause, titled ‘Private Practice Arrangements’ is in substantially the same terms as the existing agreement provision, with the addition of a new sub clause (d), relating to the right to undertake private practice provided contractual arrangements with the employer are not compromised.[138]

The second clause of the application is expressed as follows:[139]

“PRIVATE PRACTICE PLAN PAYMENTS

a) Specialist Medical Practitioners will have the minimum private patient plan payment (35%) included into their base salary using the following formula:

Old Base Salary x 135% = Effective Base Salary

b) Such payments shall be treated as salary for all purposes

c) Specialist Medical Practitioners cease to be entitled to the first 35% payment under existing Private Plan Contracts

d) Specialist medical Practitioners have to exercise their rights of private practice (if possible) to the fullest extent possible consistent with legislative requirements in order to receive the Effective base salary.”

It is this second clause which gave rise to considerable evidence and debate during the hearing. Suffice to say that the application is opposed by the respondent.

A detailed explanation of the scheme was provided by Dr Day.[140]The scheme applies at the LGH and RHH on essentially the same basis. In summary, a participating specialist uses his or her provider number to allow the hospital to charge for services provided to eligible patients (eg veterans, workers compensation, privately insured patients and overseas residents etc.) The billing administration is undertaken by the hospital and the revenue received is assigned to the hospital and paid into a trust fund. This fund is used to make the following payments:

• A payment equivalent to 35% of ‘base salary’ to participating specialists. ‘Base Salary’ includes salary and on call allowance but effectively excludes all other allowances such as ‘excess time’, ‘call back’ etc;

• Funds remaining in the scheme after the payment of the 35% are applied to training opportunities for hospital staff (not limited to doctors) and the provision of equipment which might otherwise be difficult to access through traditional funding channels;

• The fund is of a ‘pooled’ nature which recognises that some specialist categories are better placed than others to bill. Notwithstanding actual billings, all participating specialists are paid the same 35% allowance. The allowance is subject to PAYE taxation but does not apply for superannuation or any other purpose of the award, and;

• There was a suggestion that some additional payments are made to specialists at the RHH. However no details were provided and it is not part of my consideration. For the purpose of determining this claim I have assumed that the LGH and RHH schemes are essentially identical.

Other features of the scheme include:

• Participation is not compulsory and specialist must elect to join the scheme by signing an agreement. The evidence suggests that a small number of specialists do not participate;

• There is an obligation on the specialist to bill to the maximum extent possible. There is provision in the contract to withhold payments if this does not occur. The evidence suggests that this has occurred on at least one occasion at the LGH, and

• The scheme does not generally apply to specialists employed by the THOs but not in a hospital environment.

The scheme does not apply in a formal sense at the at the two North West coast hospitals. This, the Commission was advised, is a consequence of the limited private billing opportunities at these hospitals. In lieu of the PPS, specialists are paid an additional 35% allowance. The key difference is that this allowance is included for superannuation purposes, whereas the PPS allowance is not.

The substance of the claim is the 35% allowance be included in the base salary and applied for all purposes.

The evidence of Dr Day is that there is risk in relation to the existing scheme. His evidence is:[141]

“Why is there so much concern about the Private Patient Scheme?…..The major concern about the Private Patient Scheme is that, with the recent Federal and State funding arrangements and the changes that have occurred and they're re-changing again, there's the – and that's essentially called activity-based funding – with those changes, there's been a lot of work by all the Health Departments around the country, including the DHHS, to look at how to maximise their funding revenue for the hospital, and they've sort of drilled down – drilled down on that to work out whether it's better to fund something through a Private Patient-type billing arrangement and I'll explain it a bit more, or whether it's better to fund it through a funding stream direct from a Commonwealth/State agreement. And, in some cases, it's actually better – in some cases, what we're currently doing and what currently goes into the Private Patient Plan, may actually be more beneficial for the State to go through the Commonwealth/State Agreement. And so that puts at risk the current plan function and, depending on how that plays out, there's a perceived risk that the Private Patient Plan could not pay its 35 percent, which is an important component of the package. So an underwriting of that in some way would – wouldn't have a perverse impact on medical specialists and wouldn't have a perverse impact of, you know, the hospital rightly trying to maximise its revenue at the expense of specialists that have worked (inaudible). So that's a cause of concern. And that's been – that's a discussion that's gone on in every State jurisdiction. The bigger State jurisdictions have done a lot more work on looking at whether it's better to run this clinic that way, or that clinic this way. Now that's all up in the air again because they keep on changing – the federal government's – we're still waiting for that funding arrangement to be teased out again.”

Dr Day said that similar schemes exist in the other States, albeit with variable incentive structures. In most cases the schemes are provided for in the relevant awards/agreements.[142]

For the respondent evidence was provided by Ms Purse and Ms Patterson. Evidence provided by Ms Purse includes:

• Some doctors choose not to participate (conscientious objectors);[143]

• Mental health doctors are not in the scheme;[144]

• The PPS allowance[145] has been 35% at least since 2002 when Ms Purse joined the LGH;

• Non-compliance with billing has not been an issue;[146]

• Current revenues are not guaranteed under the current system, and[147]

• The National Health Reform Agenda potentially has implications for the PPS but at this stage it is an unknown quantity.[148] The claim as presented would not be able to be flexed in accordance with these possible changes.[149]

Ms Purse referred to a document titled ‘Right to Private Practice in Queensland Public Hospitals’[150] (Queensland Report) which she said had parallels with the claim before the Commission.[151]

Ms Purse referred extensively to the Queensland Report noting the substantial deficit which had occurred.[152] Relevant extracts from the report are reproduced below:[153]

“Far from being cost neutral, the scheme has cost the public health system at least $804.24 million over the last decade. The actual cost is higher than this because Queensland Health continues to subsidise the facility charges and administration fees that should be charged to those SMOs in retention and revenue sharing models.

Option A is the largest contributor to the shortfall, generating cumulative deficits over the nine years to 30 June 2012 of $725.69 million; from inception Option A has failed to be self-sufficient. The primary reasons for the shortfalls are the cumulative percentage increases in the allowance rates paid to SMOs since its introduction in 1992, and the extension of the scheme in early 2006 to SMOs who were either unable, or had a limited ability, to generate revenue. The revenues generated by most Option A SMOs have been significantly less than the allowances they are paid.

At the core of this issue is that the ‘system’ itself, and the SMOs participating in the scheme, have lost sight of, or never had sight of, the objective of cost neutrality-which was one of the two primary justifications for the scheme’s introduction.



The present situation casts significant doubt on whether Option A can be properly referred to as a right of private practice, and whether in fact it is simply a mechanism for increasing the remuneration of SMOs, albeit in a n elaborate and complicated way. The retention and revenue sharing model is more closely aligned to the original intent of the scheme.”

Ms Purse said that if the PPS allowance became part of salary it would need to be paid out of the general hospital account rather than a quarantined trust account. Her evidence is:[154]

“PRESIDENT: Ms Purse, just so I clearly understand it. Do I apprehend your concern in relation to PPS, is that, if there is not a separate fund which is generated by – by fees or charges, signed off by the doctor, then the incentive to do that actual – or to initiate that charge will dissipate–

WITNESS: Again, I don't know whether that would be the effect on our doctors, because they've always been wonderful with billing. I can only actually say what happened over time when the impetus and the connection between the revenue generation and the payment, in Queensland was lost. I would hope our doctors, because they've always been wonderful with billing, that they would keep going, but I couldn't promise it, and again, I'm really concerned, that if we don’t have it in a separate quarantined account, how do I stop it, actually having to be funded from delivery of hospital services, that's what concerns me, and at the moment those funds enjoy the protection of rolling over every 30 June. If at the moment the doctors generate more than we pay out, that monies there to buy equipment, pay for additional staff education. If we tip it all into the hospital account at each 30 June, it is swept up into the whole result of government, that's what also concerns me because I don't – I'm worried about the two mixing.”

Ms Patterson expressed similar concerns. Her evidence is:[155]

“Now, under the proposed or the application by the AMA, there is an intention to imbed payments into base salaries, so, essentially, they wouldn’t be paid in accordance with the current arrangements as a scheme, what impact would this have?.....Well there are a number of impacts. One is that there are certainly doctors within the department that aren’t a part of the scheme and they would – their salaries would increase whilst there wouldn’t be any increase in the revenue. I guess there would be no incentive for doctors to actually bill because there would be no link between, I guess the amount of billings raised and the allowance that they receive, and also, there would then be an impact on the level of funding that the hospital then is able to generate.”

By including the PPS payment in the base salary, the application seeks to include the allowance for the purpose of calculating superannuation. This currently does not apply.

A review of schemes in interstate jurisdictions reveals that superannuation is paid in the majority of cases.[156] The one clear exception is the ACT. That said, in the case of multiple tiered schemes, it would seem that superannuation is generally paid on the base component but not necessarily on the higher level incentive based components.

The respondent estimates the total cost of the PPS claim at $7,668,000.[157] Significant components of this total cost include:

• Overtime 226,000

• Call back 1,376,000

• Penalties 51,000

• Other salary related allowances 2,903,000

• Superannuation 3,070,000

• Extension to specialists not currently in the scheme 400,000

Conclusion

The base PPS allowance of 35% is an integral component of the remuneration package available to specialists, and has been so for many years. Whilst I acknowledge Mr Double’s advice that the respondent is “not looking to remove the scheme,”[158] the evidence before the Commission from both parties suggests that there are potential risks associated with the existing arrangements. In light of this uncertainty, I consider that specialists are entitled to have this significant component recognised as an award based entitlement with a similar status to that of salary, on call allowance etc. Accordingly, I intend to include an award provision to this end, but not in the precise terms of the application.

Whilst I accept that the PPS allowance is an integral component of the remuneration package, I am not prepared to include the allowance in the salary as specified in the application.[159] I have reached this conclusion based on the cost implications of this approach together with the risks identified in the evidence of Ms Purse and Ms Patterson.

The clause I propose contains the following elements:

• The PPS scheme should stand alone with its own separate accounting arrangements;

• Specialists must choose to become part of the scheme by signing an agreement, as is the current arrangement. This means that individuals may choose not to be part of the scheme. (eg conscientious objectors);

• The terms of the agreement are a matter for parties. However I would expect that the agreement will include an obligation to bill to the maximum extent possible, together with a process whereby payments may be withheld in the event that this does not occur on an individual basis;

• Save for a specific provision relating to the North West coast hospitals, the scheme will not, as a consequence of this decision, extend to any category of specialists not currently in the scheme. Initially and where appropriate I would anticipate that that this relatively small group would be accommodated through the market allowance arrangements. Whether the PPS ultimately extends beyond its current purview is a matter for the parties, and

• The clause will contain a provision whereby it may be revisited in the future in the event that the underlying integrity of scheme is at risk.

It is my belief that elements referred to above overcome the perceived risks identified by the respondent whilst at the same time provide the necessary certainty to specialists that this component of the remuneration package will continue indefinitely as an award based entitlement.

I believe that a strong case has been made out for the inclusion of the PPS allowance in salary for the purpose of calculating superannuation entitlements. Apart from the inherent merit, I am strengthened in this conclusion by the position in interstate jurisdictions, together with position in the North West coast hospitals whereby a 35% allowance in lieu of PPS is included for superannuation purposes. This is a not unimportant consideration given the imminent move to a single THO structure.

Superannuation aside, the PPS allowance will not apply for any other purpose of the award. (eg call back and other percentage based allowances etc.) This will significantly reduce the cost impact of the claim as presented.

I recognise that the inclusion of superannuation will add to the cost structure of the scheme. However I would expect this to be funded from the scheme itself, even if it means a reduction of other programs and arrangements currently funded out of the scheme. As a consequence, there should be no net additional cost to the respondent.

In relation to specialists employed in the North West coast hospitals, I propose to include provision for the payment of a 35% allowance in lieu of PPS. This will provide similar certainty to this group of specialists.

The proposed new clause reads as follows:

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

The requirement for CPD is summarised in the Medical Board of Australia publication, “Continuing professional development registration,”[160] which states:

“Medical practitioners who are engaged in any form of medical practice are required to participate regularly in continuing professional development (CPD) that is relevant to their scope of practice in order to maintain, develop, update and enhance their knowledge, skills and performance to ensure that they deliver appropriate and safe care.

CPD must include a range of activities to meet individual learning needs including practice-based reflective elements, such as clinical audit, peer –review or performance appraisal, as well as participation in activities to enhance knowledge such as courses, conferences and online learning. CPD programs of medical colleges accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) meet these requirements.”

Hence it follows that CPD is a compulsory annual requirement which is subject to audit on the renewal of registration. In this sense it can be distinguished from sabbatical leave which is voluntary in nature.

The 2009 agreement provides for CPD for both specialists and DIT. There are two components:

• Leave of 10 days per year, which can be accumulated up to a maximum of 20 days in any years. The applicant does not seek any change to the leave arrangements.

• Allowance/reimbursement of expenses.

The applicant seeks to convert the reimbursement regime to an allowance payable fortnightly, and increase the level of the financial recompense. The claim is summarised in the following table.

|Category |Existing provision |Claim |

|Specialist |Allowance of $6389 pa and reimbursement|Allowance of $25000 pa. |

| |of up to $14962 pa | |

|Medical Practitioner level 4 |Allowance of $2122 pa and reimbursement| |

| |up to $13352 pa | |

|Medical Practitioner in Training level 2|Reimbursement up to $1686 pa |Medical Practitioners L2 and above not |

|and Medical Practitioner Levels 1 -3 | |enrolled in specialist training program|

| |Reimbursement up to $2808 pa. |2.5% of base salary |

|Registrars | |Registrars or RMO L3 – 9 engaged in |

| | |specialty training pathway 5% of base |

| | |salary. |

| | |Senior Registrars 7.5% of base |

| | |salary. |

Doctor is Training

Dr Lumsden-Steele presented evidence as to the average annual training/Professional Development costs in the following specialist training pathways:[161]

• Emergency medicine 3570

• Anaesthesia 9509

• Diagnostic radiology 6953

• Obstetrics & gynaecology 12333

• Orthopedic surgery 11516

• Plastic surgery 15570

• Physician 10000

• Psychiatry 12074

According to an AMA survey in 2013, for doctors in vocational training programs, the average cost of self-education was $11369 pa. For pre-vocational trainees, the average cost was $7118 pa.[162]

Dr Lumsden-Steele explained the reasoning for moving from a reimbursement regime to an allowance as follows:[163]

“The reason for moving to an allowance as opposed to reimbursement was to basically streamline and improve efficiencies in the process. Many doctors in training have had issues with I guess the time it takes to submit, you get approval for the process. That is that there are occasions whereby paperwork – as paperwork can do does get mislaid or (indistinct) in the process and at times, you know, there are – it seems to be an unnecessary hurdles in getting a course that – approved that it is part of your training. The other issue is that there are – there have been instances whereby - to- become a trainee for example, become an anaesthetic trainee, like to be a registrar at the hospital, you have to have actually paid your trainee fee before you actually commence your training at that hospital. So the expectation is – you’ve been given a job here as the registrar, do the anaesthetics, you have to pay the college training fee before the 30th January but you don’t start work here until the 3rd February and you’ve paid for the training fee in December because that’s when they send you the bill and you try and claim that when you come through the system and it gets denied because you haven’t actually (indistinct) yet, you’ve got to be registered as a trainee and you’ve seen that you’ve got to pay an outpatient fee registration for an annual fee to start training. So that’s the example whereby there’s a lot of administration and unnecessary paperwork and approval; we believe we could clearly demonstrate that there’s significant costs to be a trainee and it’s all (indistinct), we know the trainees who spend this money so we think that we could free up resources and pay something that simply is known costs and it’s a reasonable cost and it’s had plenty of evidence and (indistinct) the fact that these are costs (indistinct). It does mean, however, that you know, the doctors and training do have to actually wear the cost of actually – you get the amounts over 12 months because it gets paid fortnightly. It doesn’t get reimbursed up front, you wear the costs. There is a benefit to the agency in that – if the trainee or registrar leaves during halfway through the year, they’ve only paid for the allowance for the time that they’ve actually been getting the fortnightly allowance, they haven’t actually – the trainee hasn’t got all his (indistinct) despite of 12 months and then actually buggar off a month or two later after he’s had it reimbursed. They actually, you know, it’s paid pro rata on an annual basis, it simply for us even though we have to wear the – and I guess you could say carry the costs until you get the allowance through, we reconcile that at tax time when we do our tax return but it’s a clean and efficient process.”

Dr Lumsden-Steele said that equivalent allowances for registrars in interstate jurisdictions included Western Australia ($8148 pa), South Australia ($8000 pa.), Queensland ($2000 pa.) and Victoria ($3755 pa.)

Dr Renshaw said he was not aware of any significant difficulties associated with reimbursing professional development for junior doctors.[164]

Based on the salaries determined earlier in this decision, the claim if granted would result in CPD allowances as follows:

• Registrars 4224 - 5315 pa

• Senior Registrars 8431 – 10367 pa

During the hearing the issue of whether the cost of CPD should be borne fully by the employer, or, in the alternative, a shared cost between the employer and the individual, was raised. The discussion was inconclusive and I am not aware of any decisions which might provide guidance on this question. Absent such information, my own view is that it should be a shared cost, and this is particularly so for DIT. Doctors undertaking specialist training are on an individual pathway whereby they undertake a training process which will ultimately deliver significant financial rewards. The evidence suggests that entry into these programs is competitive. The qualification gained is extremely portable and it would seem that turnover at this level is relatively high.

According to the respondent the average CPD reimbursement for specialists in training is $2663 pa.

On the available evidence the cost of CPD for DIT significantly exceeds the available reimbursement. It follows that the total cost is certainly being shared and on its face the individual doctor is currently paying more than 50 % of the total cost in the majority of cases. In light of the evidence I consider there is a strong case for an upward adjustment of modest proportions whilst at the same time preserving the notion of a shared cost.

In relation to the debate concerning the administrative efficiencies of an allowance versus reimbursement, more is said in the next section concerning specialists. In relation to DIT, it seems to me somewhat incongruous to have a reimbursement regime in circumstances whereby the eligible costs incurred significantly exceed the available maximum reimbursement. In such a situation the individual determines which items of eligible expenditure are submitted for reimbursement. The approval process seems quite superfluous.

Specialists

Dr Lumsden-Steele submitted that in light of the changing legal and regulatory framework, many of the specialist training colleges are reviewing CPD requirements and the trend is towards increasing requirements.[165] He said the current process of approval/reimbursement is not working. Dr Lumsden-Steele submitted that it is example of unnecessary administration and a significant unnecessary time imposition on medical specialists, administrative support staff and the management chain up to and including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He went on to state:[166]

“This is also based on an FBT year. This issues we have with the current reimbursement process is that it’s – the process itself is unnecessarily complex. It’s inefficient, it’s time consuming for all the people involved in the process, it’s paper-based, and a problem – that is that paper is prone to go missing. That has been resolving in many specialists – but also departments – copying all the documents and having a backup copy for when the documents go missing, further increasing the time spent. It often requires multiple levels of approval. It is subject to decisions and determinations that are inconsistent, can be reinterpreted, and at times we find that decisions are on an arbitrary basis without grounds. We acknowledge it’s not possible to list what all the things you can claim and entitle under CPE are, and that’s why we feel we need to fix the system.”

And later:[167]

“Our proposal, which I’ll get to, is that the going to an allowance takes away all the frustration, all the processes, all the agony, which is not actually helping doctors get on with doing professional development activities and wastes a lot of time and resources trying to actually approve what essentially is an on-going requirement for doctors to do. The CPD allowance or component is seen to be a very important part of the salaried medical practitioners package when they work in the public sector and it’s very frustrating when your access to that package is met by barriers with claiming back what is an, essentially, an on-going CPD activity.”

Dr Lumsden-Steele submitted that the allowance should be paid on a pro-rata basis to part-time specialists and should also be payable during periods of leave without pay (LWOP) such as maternity leave.

A summary of the position in interstate jurisdictions was tendered.[168] This is summarised in the table below:

|Jurisdiction |Quantum |How paid |

| |$ |$ |

|ACT |15759 |reimbursement |

|NSW |28000 |reimbursement |

|NT |21855 |allowance |

|SA |21500 |reimbursement |

|QLD |20000 |allowance |

|VIC |23487 |reimbursement |

|WA |26398 |allowance |

|TAS |6840 |allowance |

| |14554 |reimbursement |

The evidence of Dr Plummer is that CPD requirements are becoming increasingly onerous, particularly in relation to the mandatory components.[169] Dr Plummer said it frequently takes longer than the specified 28 days to be reimbursed and instanced a current claim which was still not reimbursed nearly 3 months after date of submission.[170] From her knowledge other specialists had experienced similar problems.[171]

Dr Plummer indicated a preference for an allowance to avoid the administration and bureaucracy.[172]

Associate Professor Skinner referred to the existing arrangement as a remarkably complex administrative process designed to be confirmation of the legitimacy of claims which are an award entitlement. He referred to the layers of approval which adds to the delay process[173]and estimated 240 hours of lost productivity pa. Associate Professor Skinner said he had a litany of complaints filed from frustrated clinicians in regards delayed CPD and a large number these are well beyond the twenty eight day entitlement.[174]

Associate Professor Skinner said he strongly favours providing CPD through an allowance process to remove any burden on the scarce administrative resources that we currently have and allow a focus on core business.[175]

Associate Professor Skinner said the continued use of Professional Development Agreements (PDAs) provides the opportunity to align professional development with the strategic direction of the department.[176]

Dr Renshaw agreed that that AHPRA had commenced auditing CPD points on registration renewal whereas previously this had not been an issue.[177]

Dr Renshaw said obtaining the necessary points for re-registration was the responsibility of the individual doctor. He understood that doctors generally did not fully utilise the existing reimbursement cap to achieve these points and hence there was no basis on which to increase the quantum.[178]

In relation to the proposed allowance, Dr Renshaw said:[179]

“Can I get you to tell us what in your mind might be the pros and cons of it moving to an allowance?.....My concern with it moving to an allowance is the issue of professional accountability both for the education which is being, if you like, purchased for the organisation's money. The relevance of some courses and educational opportunities that may not be relevant to the work that's being conducted in THO North and – so I think it's primarily the issue around professional accountability and the fact that the organisation really has no idea whether the education is also not only benefiting the individual but also supports the mission objectives of the individual health organisation.”

Costing

The respondent estimates the total cost of the CPD claim at $4.306m pa of which $3.2m is attributable to specialists.[180]

The average cost per year currently paid for CPD purposes is:[181]

• Specialists 18771

• Senior Medical practitioners 9210

• Senior registrars 2481

• Registrars 2457

• Residents 1513

Superannuation

Mr Bond said he had been advised by the Department that an amount paid by way of an allowance attracts superannuation.[182]In the context of CPD, this increases the superannuation liability by $951000.[183]

I am surprised by this position. The Superannuation Guarantee Ruling SGR 2009/2 published on 29/7/2009 states:[184]

“Expense allowances and reimbursements

72. Expense allowances, that is, those allowances paid to an employee with a reasonable expectation that the employee will fully expend the money in the course of providing services, are not ‘salary or wages’.

73. A reimbursement that compensates an employee for an expense they have incurred on behalf of the employer is also not ‘salary or wages’.



Expense Allowances

266. An expense allowance is an allowance which is paid with the reasonable expectation that the money will be fully expended by the employee in the course of providing their services. The expense allowance is not given for the services of the employee, but rather in recognition of the expenditure that the employee will incur in the course of providing their services. As this type of allowance does not fall within the ordinary meaning of ‘salary or wages’, it does not form part of ‘salary or wages’ for the purposes of section 11. It also does not form part of an employee’s OTE.”

In my view, a CPD allowance would fit squarely in the category of an allowance paid with the expectation that the money will be fully expended by the employee in the course of providing their services. It is similar in nature to the ‘Electorate Allowance’ paid to politicians, which from the Commission’s own knowledge, does not attract superannuation.

Conclusion

There is in my view an overwhelming case on administrative grounds to move from a reimbursement based regime to an allowance. I am confident that such a move will, over time, deliver significant administrative savings and enhance productivity for clinical core business. Whilst this may be difficult to measure in cash terms, it will certainly remove the frustration and aggravation for both clinicians and administrative staff of working with a system which on the evidence, clearly has numerous shortcomings.

That said, I accept the respondent’s submission that the existing reimbursement cap represents the maximum available, not an ‘as of right’ entitlement. The claim is a significant cost item and I have taken this into account in phasing in the allowance for specialists.

I have determined that the following annual amounts are to be paid as an allowance on a fortnightly basis.

| |As at 1/4/2015 |As at 1/4/2016 |

| |$ |$ |

|Specialists |20000 |21500 |

|Senior medical practitioners |11000 |13000 |

|Senior registrars |4500 | |

|Registrars |3500 | |

|Residents |2000 | |

The allowance is to be paid during periods of paid leave but not for any other purpose of the Award.

The allowances shall be paid pro rata for part-time employees.

I am not prepared to accept the claim that the allowance be paid during periods of LWOP, such as maternity leave.

Sabbatical Leave

The 2009 Agreement currently provides that on the completion of five years’ service, specialists are able to take 65 days sabbatical leave for the purpose of participating in professional development programs. After two years’ service sabbatical leave may be accessed on a pro rata basis.

Specialists undertaking an approved sabbatical leave program are entitled to travel expenses up to the value of an around the world airfare at economy rates plus a daily living allowance.

Dr Day explained that the applicant does not seek to alter the substance of the existing entitlement. Rather, the claim seeks to:

• Convert ‘days’ to ‘hours’ so as to accommodate the growing part-time work force, and

• Convert the expense arrangements to a fortnightly allowance of $309.61.

Dr Turner gave evidence concerning the challenges facing part-time employees in accessing sabbatical leave. In particular it was very difficult under existing arrangements to take sabbatical leave as a block.[185]

Dr Matters gave evidence concerning issues with the interpretation of the expense allowance provisions.[186] She said she had received numerous complaints for staff concerning the time taken in getting reimbursement of claims submitted (8 to 12 weeks). The allowance concept would overcome these issues and “save a huge amount of time and angst.”[187]

Dr Renshaw said that there was now less emphasis on taking a big block of time away with a trend towards shorter conferences and courses. Similar to his position in relation to CPD, Dr Renshaw said his major concern with the allowance concept was the (lack of) professional accountability.

Mr Double submitted that that the Tasmanian sabbatical arrangements were generous compared with the other States where it appears that in most cases sabbatical leave has been rolled in with CPD. Only Victoria and Queensland appear to have a stand-alone sabbatical leave provision.[188]

In many ways the allowance versus reimbursement debate parallels the CPD position although I do accept that there is a difference between a mandatory annual requirement (CPD) and a an optional leave arrangement which may or may not occur at irregular intervals.

There is however another aspect of this claim which causes me greater concern. The respondent estimates the cost of the claim at $2.02m, compared with an actual cost in 2012/13 of $137000. This is a disparity of $1.883m for what is purported to be the same entitlement, expressed differently.

This disparity suggests that sabbatical leave is either not a popular option amongst specialists, or for other reasons, is difficult to access. I suspect the answer lies in a combination of both. Either way, the disparity is so profound I feel that it would be unsafe to determine the claim on the material before the Commission.

I propose that this matter be listed in the leave reserved clause for further discussion between the parties. Perhaps the time has come to consider rolling sabbatical leave into the CPD provisions.

One aspect of the claim does find my support. I refer to sub-clause (f) of the claim regarding the ability for part-time specialists to take sabbatical leave as a block. Whether or not this requires a conversion of the entitlement from ‘days’ to ‘hours’ can be discussed at the settlement of the order stage.

Motor Vehicle Entitlements

The 2009 Agreement provides that full-time specialists are entitled to the official and private use of a fully maintained motor vehicle consistent with Government guidelines. In lieu of a vehicle, an individual may elect to be paid an allowance of $21387 pa. Part-time specialists are provided with a fuel card. The substance of the claim is to:

• Increase the allowance to $27900 pa

• Extend the allowance to part-time specialists on a pro-rata basis

• Introduce consultative arrangements where there is significant adjustment to the vehicle list, with no overall net loss or reduction in the value of the package.

In support of the claim the applicant tendered evidence of the cost of a novated lease arrangement should an individual opt for the allowance and obtain a vehicle of choice.[189]

Dr Lumsden-Steele said that past political decisions to change the vehicle list had a significant (negative) impact on the overall net value of the salary package, and hence the ‘no net loss’ aspect of the claim.

The respondent tendered evidence indicating that the average cost (to Government) of a Senior Executive Service (SES) vehicle in November 2013 was $16494 pa.[190]

Whilst I understand the applicant’s concern as to the potential net loss of package value arising from Government decisions to alter the motor vehicle list, no case has been made out which in current circumstances would justify medical specialists being placed in a more advantageous position than the cohort of SES equivalents generally.

I also find the relevant cost of a motor vehicle is the cost to Government, not the cost to an individual who opts for the allowance choice. On the available evidence there is no case to increase the existing allowance of $21387 pa.

I do however find merit in the extension of the vehicle allowance to part-time employees on a pro-rata basis. Whilst this comes at a cost (estimated at $1.229m)[191], it is far more equitable than the existing fuel card arrangement.

Communication Allowance

The applicant seeks to introduce a communications allowance for Specialists and Medical Practitioners Level 12-13. The allowance, to be paid fortnightly, has two components:

• Mobile phone 1680 pa

• Computer/internet 2090 pa

The 2009 Agreement currently provides that specialists and medical practitioners level 1V are to be provided with a mobile phone and laptop for work use configured to DHHS system requirements. Reasonable costs of work related phone and internet use are reimbursed. In addition the employer will reimburse the reasonable private use of mobile phone and computer internet. However significant or inappropriate private call use or large data downloads is not considered reasonable and reimbursement from the employee is required.

Mobile phone

The Mobile Plan Management Protocol for the Department of Anaesthesia, RHH, was tendered.[192]

This plan provides, inter alia:

• Reimbursement of all authorised work related use;

• Reimbursement of reasonable private use of up to $200 per month;

• Emergency costs in excess of $200 per month may be reimbursed;

• Reimbursement of private data of up to $160 per month whilst overseas, and

• Where unauthorized costs exceed $400 in one month or $2400 in any one financial year, such costs will be recovered by the Department.

Dr Lumsden-Steele said that under the proposal all administrative requirements are removed from the Agency and the individual is solely and totally responsible for all costs, including whilst overseas.[193]

Dr Lumsden-Steele said the allowance of $1680 pa was based on the Telstra plan for a 32 GB iPhone, with unlimited calls and 3 GB of data.[194]

Dr Lumsden-Steele said the Department of Anesthesia policy was approved by the CEO with other departments using similar templates.[195] However, Mr Shackcloth said that it was likely a localised policy and not sanctioned by the IT. department. Regrettably the respondent did not provide any additional information as to DHHS/THO policy in relation to mobile phone use.

I conclude that there is a compelling case for the introduction of a mobile phone allowance of $1680 pa, consistent with the terms of the application. Indeed on the figures available it will likely reduce costs for the employer together with the removal of much of the administrative burden. This allowance will be paid on a fortnightly basis and apply pro-rata for part-time employees.

The allowance is to commence on 1 April 2015 to allow for the phasing out of existing arrangements.

Computer/Internet

The case for an allowance in lieu of existing arrangements is not so clear cut in relation to the computer/internet.

The evidence of Mr Shackcloth raised serious questions as to the costings of the applicant.[196]

Mr Shackcloth said that his department did not have the knowledge base to offer a decent amount of support for an unrestricted range of devices.[197]

In relation to potential security risks, Mr Shackcloth’s evidence is:[198]

“Are there any security concerns in particular that you might have with the proliferation of non-standard software or hardware?...Yeah, certainly hardware that we can’t control. So if it’s not registered and controlled, then it potentially can lead to security holds. If something gets out of it that’s not contained within the, sort of, firewalling and anti-virus-ing that we do at a broader organisational level. Then it introduces vulnerability. The other thing it can introduce is potentially performance degradation to the existing services that are out there, for example, wireless. I can you that example. Some of them bring along a wireless device into a hospital ward. A wireless device is typically – they’re very outgoing, they like to just announce themselves to the world and do a lot of handshaking, and what – we have a range of what’s called spectrum, which is the, sort of, bandwidth upon which our existing wireless device is actually broadcast. If there’s anything that interferes with that spectrum it can cause an immense amount of attempts to handshake and identify and verify, which in effect freezes a wireless network service, whilst all of this frenetic activity is going on between machines. So the introduction of a machine to interfere with that spectrum or indeed to broadcast its presence can degrade our existing services and also send messages out that could be unsecure. Typically you’ll hear techie speak, they’ll talk about things like Trojans and malware and denial of service attacks that can sometimes masquerade in amongst a legitimate electronic message.”

Mr Shackcloth acknowledged that an allowance arrangement would likely result in some administrative savings, there would be added complications in providing support.

On balance I conclude that at this point the environment is not conducive to moving to an allowance arrangement for computer/internet. This may change over time, but for the moment the claim is denied and existing arrangements will continue.

Hours of Work

The applicant proposes a new ‘Hours of Work’ clause.[199] In this section I deal with the proposed changes.

For medical practitioners levels 5 - 13 the applicant proposes a change from a 38 hour week to a 40 hour week. Dr Lumsden-Steele said that this was a significant change which reflected the operational realities for this cohort of medical practitioners.[200] The application must also sensibly be seen in the context of the proposed classification structure for DIT.

For the respondent Mr Double opposed the application stating that it was contrary to health and safety trends, contrary to the Fair Work Act 2009 and the IRA.[201]

This submission is not convincing. Whilst the application is unusual, no evidence was provided that it was inconsistent with health and safety requirements. In relation to the IRA, s47AC states “unless prescribed otherwise in an Act, award or agreement…”. It is not a blanket ban on anything beyond 38 hours per week nor does it prescribe anything about consent.

Ms Fitton referred to s35(1)(a) of the IRA contending that an ‘hours of work’ application must be dealt with by a Full Bench. There is no doubt in my mind that the intention of this section is to deal with reduction in hours of work (eg from 40 to 38). The former Wage Fixing Principles specifically provided for this scenario, but not the reverse. At the time the IRA received Royal Assent (May 1984), awards overwhelmingly provided for a 40 hour week.

The proposal is a bold initiative on the part of the applicant. It will enhance productivity and lead to savings in the order of $1.8m.

The application is granted.

The application proposes a new sub clause 1.4(b) which prescribes a minimum period that a medical practitioner can be rostered of four hours. So far as I can establish the respondent did not specifically address this claim. I conclude that the claim is consistent with operational realities and prevailing industrial standards. Accordingly, the claim is granted.

The applicant proposes a new sub clause 1.4(c) dealing with planned and unplanned ward rounds. Dr Lumsden-Steele explained the rationale for this provision as follows:[202]

“And that call back prescribes, you know, what the minimum period is. So, what we're saying is, if departments have clearly identified the requirement then to be doing ward rounds, then that should be rostered work. If it clearly hasn't been identified and they come back and they participate in a clinical review or a ward round because they're called back to do so, or it's an unplanned event, then that's a call back. We feel it's clear and really important to reinforce that here because there have been increasing issues whereby HR and pay office are getting back to departments saying, 'Well, we think this is actually rostered hours.' The trouble with that is that, that's rostered hours and above what they've been rostered to work during the week already. It hasn't actually been factored into that roster due to the clinical workload requirements that are there. So, we're reinforcing that, if it's known, it's rostered, it's rostered hours. If it's not anticipated or rostered, it's a call back.”

This provision is to be read in conjunction with proposed 1.4(d) dealing with authorisation for clinical reviews outside the normal spread of hours.

I agree that there needs to be clarity in relation to this issue. In principle I am in support of the proposal as outlined, subject to careful drafting. It is important to distinguish between a ward round required by the employer as distinct from a medical practitioner acting on their own volition.

Subject to drafting, the application is granted.

To allow for any necessary roster and or administrative changes, this clause shall operate from 1 April 2015.

Excess Time

The applicant proposes a new clause.[203]

A key change is the ‘right shifting’ of penalties for Medical Practitioners level 5-13. This is a consequence of the 40 hour week discussed in the previous section. For similar reasons, the application is granted.

Proposed sub clause 1.1(c) deals with the monitoring of clinical workload where hours are greater than 88 per fortnight. There was very little evidence (supporting or otherwise) in relation to this provision. Whilst on its face the sub clause appears sensible and non-contentious, I request the parties to further confer with the view of finalising the matter in the settling of the order phase.

Specialists

Currently the 2009 Agreement provides for excess hours for specialists to be taken as ‘Time off in Lieu (TOIL) There is no provision for penalty rates.

The application proposes that excess time be paid at penalty rates, with the ability for a specialist to elect TOIL in place of penalty rates.

The evidence of Dr Lumsden-Steele is that in some departments, staff do not get the opportunity to take TOIL. They accrue it but never take it.[204]

The respondent opposes this application. Mr Double submitted that at a senior professional level, there is an expectation that reasonable additional hours will be worked without the payment of overtime. This was overwhelmingly the position in interstate jurisdictions for specialists.[205]

I agree with the respondent’s position. It is most unusual for professionals at this level of seniority in any field to be paid for overtime/excess hours in the manner proposed. Specialists receive an ‘on call’ allowance and are paid for call outs. If there is an issue with the capacity to take TOIL then that should be addressed in a leave management environment, rather than through a penalty rate regime.

The applicant has failed to sustain the case for the proposed change and this aspect of the application is refused.

Reasonable Notice of Roster

The applicant seeks to introduce a new clause.[206]

The existing provision in the 2009 Agreement provides that rosters are drawn up at least four weeks in advance, and with the exception of a genuine emergency or mutual consent shall not be changed without giving four weeks’ notice.

The key change sought by the applicant is the payment of a penalty of 250% for all hours worked outside the spread of ordinary hours, where such notice has not been given. The application also provides that where such notice has not been provided, a medical practitioner cannot be directed to work the shift if they have advised of their unavailability.

Dr Lumsden-Steele submitted that there have been occasions whereby junior doctors have been unnecessarily pressured to work in situations whereby they have made significant plans to be otherwise engaged. He said:[207]

“There have been times whereby junior doctors have unnecessarily I think been harassed or basically pressured to work weekends when they've made significant plans or even had plans and holidays or planned to go within the state, and you know, if they are able to say, look I'm sorry, but I'm just not available that weekend, I haven’t had notice, then, you know, and they say they're unable to work and that's it, they should be unavailable. If there's a requirement for DHHS to have an operational coverage for that period, then you know, they need to, have appropriate mechanisms to ensure they can cover shifts. We have had issues in the last 12 months whereby, rosters have come out late. We've also had issues whereby, at times, people have been promulgated on a roster despite being known to be actually off on sick leave or even not available and at short notice they've been activating other people to work those shifts. What we're clearly trying to do is say, there's a reasonable expectation that you get the roster out with adequate notice and if you don’t, you know, you can't compel people to work if you haven’t given them notice. If they agree to work, then that's fine, if they don’t, but, there has to be some incentive and pushed back – well, appropriate incentive and penalty if you're not giving people adequate notice.”

Dr Lumsden-Steele said the 250% penalty was based on the public holiday rate.[208]

The respondent opposes this application submitting that the proposed penalty is excessive. An interstate comparison was tendered, which the respondent contends points to notice periods generally much shorter than 28 days and an almost total absence of penalty rates.[209]

Clause 19(iii) of the 2009 Agreement, whilst difficult to understand, seems to provide for ‘excess time’ penalty rates in circumstances whereby less than one week’s notice of a change is given.

My own view is that one week’s notice is too short, but 28 days is unreasonably restrictive. A notice period of 14 days, or the payment of the equivalent of overtime penalty rates seems reasonable and is broadly consistent with similar provisions in interstate jurisdictions.

I am also sympathetic to the notion that an individual should not be compelled to work a changed shift if he or she is able to demonstrate compelling reasons as to their unavailability. For example, planned absence, significant social engagements such as weddings etc as distinct from a minor inconvenience. The parties are asked to address these issues during the settling of the order phase.

Removal Expenses

The 2009 Agreement provides in clause 44 that removal expenses shall be in accordance with terms and conditions determined for persons employed in the State Service. The application seeks additional provisions relating to medical practitioners required to undertake training with different THOs and recognition that employees in recognised relationships are to be considered as individuals when required to relocate.

On the material presented, particularly as to the lack of clarity in respect of existing practices, I am unable to do justice to this application. Without expressing a view one way or the other, I intend that this be placed in the Leave Reserved clause for future consideration.

Car Parking

The applicant seeks the introduction of a new clause, which in essence requires the provision of secure car parking for specialists in the immediate vicinity of the place of employment.[210]

The Commission was informed of the car parking arrangements at each of the hospitals, which varies across the State.

Whilst I firmly believe it is in the clinical interests of the hospital network to provide adequate parking for specialists, the precise arrangements, will by necessity, vary from location to location.

Car parking is an issue which should be taken up directly with hospital management and is not, in my view, a matter for award prescription. The application is refused.

Leave Reserved

Leave is reserved to the parties, with recourse to the Commission as necessary, to consider the following matters further:

• Definitions for and access to senior staff specialist classification

• Removal expenses

• Sabbatical leave

Date of Operation

Clauses relating to the following:

• Communication Allowance

• Continuing Professional Development

• Hours of Work

• Motor Vehicles

shall operate from the beginning of the first pay period to commence on or after 1 April 2015.

In all other respects the award will operate from the beginning of the first pay period to commence on or after 23 January 2015.

Settling the Order

Given the breadth of the application and the imperative for a timely conclusion, this decision is largely in the nature of a decision in principle.

It is quite likely that there will be errors, omissions and unintended consequences. It is also possible that some issues have been overlooked. Detailed drafting of clauses will be required.

I request that the parties identify matters which fall into these categories with the view of resolving outstanding issues before the order is settled.

It is my intention to convene a conference at the earliest convenient date after 16 February 2015. The purpose of this conference will be to settle the order arising out of this decision together with the matters agreed by the parties at the conference held on 1 December 2014.[211]

Tim Abey

President

Appearances:

For the applicant:

Mr C Green

Dr M Lumsden-Steele

Dr T Greenaway

Dr M Turner

Dr S Day

Mr T Stevens

For the Respondent:

Mr T Kleyn

Mr M Double

Ms J Fitton

Ms L Ross

Ms M Cresdee

Date and place of hearing:

2013

13 November

2014

14 February

25 March

31 March

19 and 22 May

11, 12, 16 and 19 June

5, 6, 18, 25, 26 and 27 August

9 and 10 September

20, 21 and 22 October

17 and 18 November

1 December

Hobart

Appendix 1

Doctors in Training

|Current |Current |AMA |AMA salary |Proposed |Notes |

|class |salary |classification | |salary | |

|Resident 1 |64447 |MP2 |71686 |68636 |6.5% |

|Resident 2 |67245 |MP3 |76376 |71616 |6.5% |

|Resident 3 |72652 |MP4 |81065 |77374 |6.5% |

|Registrar 1 |78220 |MP5 |90445 |84478 |8.0% |

|MP1 yr1 |80420 |MP5 |90445 |84478 |5.0% |

|Registrar 2 |83025 |MP6 |97144 |89667 |8.0% |

|MP1 yr2 |87340 |MP6 |97144 |89667 |2.7% |

|Registrar 3 |88316 |MP7 |103844 |95381 |8.0% |

|MP2 yr1 |91662 |MP7 |97144 |95381 |4.1% |

|Registrar 4 |92847 |MP8 |110544 |100275 |.8.0% |

| | |MP9/Reg 5 |117243 |105800 |new |

|MP2 yr2 |95986 |MP8 |110544 |100275 |4.4% |

|MP3 yr1 |101521 |MP8 |110544 |100275 |-1.2 % |

|Senior Registrar 1 |104085 |MP10 |123943 |112412 |8.0% |

|MP 3 yr 2 |109821 |MP8 |110544 |100275 |-8.7% |

|Senior Registrar 2 |110682 |MP11 |130643 |119537 |8.0% |

| | |MP 12/SR3 |137342 |125513 |AMA relativity 12:11 |

| | |MP 13/SR4 |144042 |138222 |8.0% on MP4/4 |

|MP4 yr 1 |117605 |MP10 |123943 |112412 |-4.4 % |

|MP4 yr 2 |122792 |MP11 |130643 |119537 |-2.7% |

|MP4 yr 3 |122792 |MP12 |137342 |128880 |5.0% 50% of diff |

| | | | | |Between 11 &13 |

|MP4 yr 4 |122792 |MP12 |137342 |128880 |5.0% |

|MP4 yr 5 |127983 |MP 13 |144042 |138222 |8.0% |

Notes

• Translation of existing employees shall be in accordance with definitions, subject to a minimum salary increase of 6.5% on POO basis. Thereafter progression through the career structure shall be in accordance with definitions provided that at no point shall an individual who was in employment with the State Service as at 23 January 2015 be subject to a salary decrease.

Appendix 2

Senior Staff Specialist Classification

Absorption against ‘special payments’ example

1) Position pre 23/1/2015

SMP year 11 Base salary 184815

On call allowance [4%] 7393

Sub-total 192208

PPS [35%] 67273

Retention allowance 20000

Total 279481

2) Position as at 23/1/2015 but for SSS classification

SMP year 11 Base salary 196828*

On Call allowance [4%] 7873

Sub-total 204701

PPS [35%] 71645

Retention Allowance 20000

Total 296346

*increase in base salary of 12013

^total increase of 16865

3) Position as at 23/1/2015 if individual translates to SSS Grade 2

SSS Grade 2 base salary 208076#

On Call Allowance [4%] 8323

Sub-total 216399

PPS [35%] 75740

Retention Allowance [20000-11248] 8752

Total 300891

# Increase of 11248 over the new year 11 salary

Appendix 3

Senior Staff Specialist Classification

Adjustment of Managerial Allowance Example

1) Position pre 23/1/15

SMP Year 11 base salary 184815

Managerial Allowance [20%] 36963

2) Position after 23/1/15 if individual translates to SSS Grade 2

SSS Grade 2 base salary 208076

Managerial Allowance 36963

Hence the new managerial allowance expressed as a % is 36962/208076 x 100 = 17.76%

The new Managerial Allowance of 17.76% is to be maintained into the future.

-----------------------

[1] Transcript p 1257

[2] (1994) (unreported, AIRC (FB), L4605, 31 August 1994)

[3] Exhibit A1

[4] Transcript p1263

[5] Transcript p1285

[6] T14033

[7] Exhibit R72 Appendix A5

[8] Transcript p264

[9] Exhibit A4

[10] Transcript p132

[11] Exhibit A5

[12] Transcript p135

[13] Transcript p140

[14] Transcript p141

[15] Exhibit A2, p39

[16] Transcript p555

[17] Transcript p568

[18] Transcript p605

[19] Transcript p606

[20] Transcript p183/4

[21] Transcript p190

[22] Transcript p198/9

[23] Transcript p204

[24] Transcript p208

[25] Transcript p227

[26] Transcript p276

[27] Transcript p276

[28] Transcript p286

[29] Transcript p287

[30] Transcript p293

[31] Transcript p294

[32] Transcript p298

[33] Transcript p299

[34] Transcript p299

[35] Transcript p300/1

[36] Transcript p306

[37] Transcript p307

[38] Transcript p309

[39] Transcript p316,317,604

[40] Transcript p317

[41] Transcript p322

[42] Transcript p580,581,595

[43] Transcript p603

[44] Transcript p324/5

[45] Transcript p325

[46] Transcript p326

[47] Transcript p560

[48] Transcript p1037

[49] Transcript p1038

[50] Transcript p876

[51] Exhibit A26

[52] Transcript p268-271

[53] Transcript p432

[54] Transcript p433

[55] Transcript p438

[56] Transcript p467

[57] Transcript p575

[58] Exhibit A62

[59] Exhibit R3, Transcript p67

[60] Transcript p68

[61] Transcript p69

[62] Transcript p70,72

[63] Transcript p73

[64] Exhibit R4 Transcript p74

[65] Transcript p114

[66] Exhibit R6 Transcript p75

[67] Transcript p116,117

[68] Transcript p117

[69] Transcript p1039

[70] Transcript p1040

[71] ABS Catalogue 6302.0 May 2014

[72] Exhibit R71

[73] Transcript p881

[74] Transcript p933

[75] Exhibit R28

[76] Transcript p551

[77] Transcript p1228/40

[78] Exhibit A86, R17, Transcript p1235

[79] Transcript p178

[80] Transcript p185

[81] Transcript p206

[82] Transcript p286

[83] Transcript p300

[84] Transcript p603

[85] Transcript p206

[86] Transcript p1041/2

[87] Transcript p943

[88] Exhibits R72 and R73 Transcript p711-751, 987-1005, 1155-1236

[89] Transcript p1092

[90] Transcript p1092

[91] Transcript p864-869

[92] Transcript p920-922

[93] Transcript p950-953

[94] Transcript p905/6

[95] Exhibit R2

[96] Transcript p1273

[97] Transcript p949

[98] Transcript p949

[99] Transcript p958

[100] Transcript p950/1

[101] Transcript p953

[102] Transcript p1093

[103] Transcript p1106

[104] Transcript p927/8

[105] Exhibit R72

[106] [2010] FWAFB 7251 Acton SDP, Cartwright SDP, Thatcher C.

[107] Teaching Service (Teaching Staff) Award, Westwood P, Watling C, Imlach C. 10/12/1993

[108] T12940 of 2007

[109] RO15 -2013/14

[110] Exhibit R20

[111] Transcript p1264

[112] Exhibit A1

[113] Transcript p432

[114] Transcript p85, 112

[115] Transcript p86, 1048

[116] Transcript p97

[117] Transcript p112

[118] Transcript p1068/9

[119] Transcript p1071

[120] Transcript p1073

[121] T13618 21/12/2009 Transcript p3

[122] Exhibit A84

[123] Transcript p137

[124] Transcript p324,5

[125] Transcript p554

[126] Transcript p565

[127] Transcript p220

[128] Transcript p317

[129] Transcript p1051

[130] Transcript p1052

[131] Exhibits A8 – A12

[132] Exhibit A14

[133] Exhibit A27

[134] Exhibit R70

[135] Transcript p1012

[136] Transcript p1014

[137] Transcript p1038

[138] Exhibit A58

[139] Exhibit A59

[140] Transcript p 412, Exhibit A60

[141] Transcript p411

[142] Exhibit A61 Transcript p417

[143] Transcript p889

[144] Transcript p889

[145] Transcript p908

[146] Transcript p909

[147] Transcript p894

[148] Transcript p911

[149] Transcript p899

[150] Exhibit R53

[151] Transcript p897

[152] Transcript p897 and following

[153] Exhibit R53 p2

[154] Transcript p1147

[155] Transcript p1024

[156] Exhibit A70

[157] Exhibit R54

[158] Transcript p966

[159] Exhibit A59

[160] ExhibitA41

[161] Exhibits A16 to A26

[162] Exhibit A24

[163] Transcript p247

[164] Transcript p1053

[165] Transcript p362

[166] Transcript p363

[167] Transcript p366

[168] Exhibit A45

[169] Transcript p374

[170] Transcript p377

[171] Transcript p379

[172] Transcript p380

[173] Transcript p386

[174] Transcript p387

[175] Transcript p388

[176] Transcript p392

[177] Transcript p1054

[178] Transcript p1055

[179] Transcript p1055

[180] Exhibit R73 appendix H2

[181] Obtained by dividing total current cost in appendix H2 by total numbers in each category (appendix A5)

[182] Transcript p1205

[183] Exhibit R73 appendix H2

[184] Superannuation Guarantee Ruling SGR 2009/2 paras 72,73,266

[185] Transcript p331-333

[186] Transcript p337, 338

[187] Transcript p344

[188] Transcript p983 Exhibit R66

[189] Exhibit A79

[190] Exhibits R36 and R37

[191] Exhibit R72 Appendix G1

[192] Exhibit A77

[193] Transcript p529, 653

[194] Transcript p530

[195] Transcript p533

[196] Transcript p802

[197] Transcript p806

[198] Transcript p807

[199] Exhibit A71

[200] Transcript p500

[201] Transcript p773

[202] Transcript p502

[203] Exhibit A72

[204] Transcript p509

[205] Transcript p773 Exhibits R21 to R27, R50

[206] Exhibit A73

[207] Transcript p515

[208] Transcript p216

[209] Exhibit R48

[210] Exhibit A80

[211] Email from Lucy Ross dated 3 December 2014

-----------------------

Classification Structure

$

Medical practitioner level 1 (intern) 64960

Medical practitioner level 2 (resident yr 1) 68636

Medical practitioner level 3 (resident yr 2) 71616

Medical practitioner level 4 (resident yr 3) 77374

Medical practitioner level 5 (registrar yr 1) 84478

Medical practitioner level 6 (registrar yr 2) 89667

Medical practitioner level 7 (registrar yr 3) 95381

Medical practitioner level 8 (registrar yr 4) 100275

Medical practitioner level 9 (registrar yr 5) 106291

Medical practitioner level 10 (senior registrar yr 1) 112412

Medical practitioner level 11 (senior registrar yr 2) 119537

Medical practitioner level 12 (senior registrar yr 3) 128880

Medical practitioner level 13 (senior registrar yr 4) 138222

Classification Structure

$

Specialist medical practitioner year 1 140592

Specialist medical practitioner year 2 146215

Specialist medical practitioner year 3 151839

Specialist medical practitioner year 4 157462

Specialist medical practitioner year 5 163087

Specialist medical practitioner year 6 168710

Specialist medical practitioner year 7 174334

Specialist medical practitioner year 8 179956

Specialist medical practitioner year 9 185581

Specialist medical practitioner year 10 191203

Specialist medical practitioner year 11 and thereafter 196828

Senior staff specialist grade 1 202452

Senior staff specialist grade 2 208076

Senior staff specialist grade 3 213700

Private Practice Arrangements and Allowance

a) A specialist medical practitioner may, within a public hospital, enter into a private practice arrangement with the employer, whereby the employer agrees to allow the specialist medical practitioner to use the hospital’s facilities in order to provide medical services to private patients and, for which services, fees are charged by or on behalf of the specialist medical practitioner.

b) The terms and conditions of such private practice arrangements are to be specified and agreed in writing between the employer and the specialist medical practitioner.

c) The provision of such services shall not, in any way, hinder the proper performance of the duties and responsibilities of the specialist medical practitioner as an employee.

d) Specialists entering into such an agreement shall be paid an allowance of not less than 35% of the relevant base salary plus applicable on call allowance. The allowance shall be paid on a regular basis of at least monthly frequency.

e) Specialists employed in the North West coast hospitals who do not participate in the PPS, shall be paid an allowance in lieu of PPS of not less than 35% of the relevant base salary.

f) The allowances specified in (d) and (e) above are included in salary for the purpose of calculating superannuation entitlements and are payable during periods of paid leave.

g) The allowances do not apply for any other purposes of the award or agreement.

h) Leave is reserved to the parties to revisit this clause, with recourse to the Commission, in the event that the integrity of the PPS arrangements is at risk as a consequence of the National Health Reform Agenda and/or a material change in billing patterns.

Download Doc File