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From: Tony Chase
Manager Workplace Relations and General Practice
AMA (ACT)

Dear members

I wanted to update you on AMA (ACT)’s negotiating position on the issue of Education and Training Allowance for JMOs.

Background

Until recently ACTH have maintained through the administration of successive agreements the college membership fee and other education and training fess are not an “education expense”.

AMA (ACT) have notified ACTH that this interpretation is disputed. Under these arrangements affected employees were asked to accept that college membership and exam fees should be treated as ‘work expenses’. ACTH’s interpretation of the term other educational expenses related to JMO duties” at clause 108.2 of the current Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) has therefore explicitly excluded college membership fees, examination fees, and other personal development and educational expenses. 

The practical effect of this interpretation has been to limit JMOs’ access to a pool of funds under the heading of “other educational expenses” and as a consequence, limit the dispersal of educational and training support which would otherwise be vailable to JMOs. Some JMOs have never used the funds, as ACTH’s interpretation was so narrow as to effectively limit access to the funds, thereby creating a residue of unused funds and a significant saving to ACTH.  This has resulted in funds being unused or partly unused, and in some cases lost entirely to JMO applicants.

This regime contrasts with the current Medical Education Expenses for Staff Specialists where such entitlements can accrue for up to 5 years.

Our position on the question of JMO access to Education and Training support has been well stated in earlier submissions. For the record, the AMA (ACT) and its members acknowledge that ACTH has now offered immediate access to an Education and Training Allowance without the administrative constraints and lack of access that has characterized the administration of the EBA provision

ACTH Offer

AMA (ACT)’s negotiating position remains effectively unchanged from the time our member’s counter-claim dated 30 August 2018 was tabled, (except our request that SRMO 2’s be moved into the higher bracket)

ACTH’s current position will not be supported by the AMA (ACT) in its current form. Our view is that it is unlikely to be supported by the AMA (ACT) members and will most likely not meet with the approval of the wider JMO groups. Having regard to  SMOF ACT’s stated position on Education and Training Allowances for JMOs, it is unlikely to be supported by ASMOF ACT, although they can speak for themselves. 

The main problem with ACTH’s position is the quantum being offered:

  • Interns are being offered $1040 pa (current maximum expenses are $2041pa)
  • RMOs and SRMO1s are being offered $1560 (current maximum expenses are $3062)
  • SRMO 2+, Registrars and Senior Registrars are being offered $2860 (current maximum expenses are also $3062)

Th ACTH offer is hardly to be considered an improvement from the current arrangements.

AMA (ACT) Position

AMA (ACT) has based its claim on the current Victorian arrangements but re-jigged to accommodate local differences in the ACT.

Please note – the allowance will be paid on a fortnightly basis with JMOs then responsible for paying their own education and training fees.

Rates are:

  • Interns - $40pfn ($1040 pa)
  • RMO 1 and SRMO 1 – ($3744 pa)
  • SRMO 2+, Registrar 1+ and Senior Registrar - $198pfn ($5148 pa)

We await ACTH’s response.

Regards

Tony

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