Qld Health agrees to $68k pay rise for medical specialists
QUEENSLAND Health has agreed to increases in salary packages of up to 50 per cent for hundreds of specialists to bring their wages into line with other states.
Queensland Health has described the pay rises as "retention incentives'' to stop specialists moving to NSW, Victoria and South Australia for higher salaries.
Under current terms, the specialists receive a maximum of $3500 a year as a retention payment but the new agreement allows for a Medical Physicists Attraction and Retention Incentive (MPARI).
This can be anything from an extra $39,000 to $68,000 on top of their existing six figure base salary.
Together Union staff had planned to walk off the job for an hour tomorrow to try to get their pay increases ratified by Queensland Health.
But reports emerged last night the one-hour stop work action would likely be averted after Together Union indicated a breakthrough in negotiations was likely.
A spokeswoman for Health Minister Steven Miles said EBA talks were ongoing between the department and the union.
While Together Union has been touting the annual pay rises as 2.5 per cent, in the same enterprise bargaining agreement signed off by Queensland Health director-general Dr John Wakefield, some clinical assistants are in line for annual pay rises of between 3.3 per cent and 7 per cent.
The salary rises would be back dated to October 17, 2019, after Queensland Health signed off "in principle'' to the agreement in November last year. Had Covid-19 not emerged the EBA would have been law.
For medical physicists - who marry up physics with clinical analysis and work in radiation, oncology, nuclear medicine, radiological imaging, biomechanics and radiography - salaries will go up from the lowest rate of $109,505 to $148,130 - up $38,625.
For the more senior specialists, their annual salary will go from $177,016 to $236,215 - up $59,199.
A HP5 medical physicist goes from $135,803 to $204,285 - up $68,482 or about 50 per cent.
Former premier Campbell Newman said it seemed "an under handed and non transparent way of doing business''.
"It shows the hold of the unions,'' he said.
Nurses Professional Association of Queensland assistant state secretary Jack Maguire said the timing was "incredulous.''
"The timing does seem odd when you've got plenty of other frontline staff like nurses going above and beyond the call of duty,'' he said.
The average median wage in Australia is less than $50,000.
Originally published as Qld Health agrees to $68k pay rise for medical specialists