ACC adds insult to injury
19 June 2018
ACC adds insult to injury in cavalier response to medical advisors
“ACC has added insult to injury by planning to cut medical advisory staffing and then responding in a very cavalier way to our members’ quite reasonable requests for improvements to their collective employment agreement,” says Lloyd Woods, Senior Industrial Officer at the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).
“It beggars belief that ACC, the organisation that prides itself on putting people-before-process, won’t agree to include a statement on the importance of wellbeing in the collective agreement. Why on earth would you not want to do that?
“Not only that, it’s refusing to increase the current redundancy clause to match what other ACC employees are eligible for. That’s appalling given redundancies are looming with the proposed disestablishment of every medical advisor’s position.”
ASMS represents most of the medical advisors employed by ACC, who provide specialised medical advice on claims
Last month ACC released proposed changes that would see its medical advisory staffing cut by almost 20% (https://www.asms.org.nz/news/asms-news/2018/05/23/acc-proposes-slashing-medical-advisory-staffing/). Mr Woods says ACC has carried out five restructures in the past five years, leading to the disestablishment of 991 positions, with eventual redundancy for 268 employees across the organisation.
Mr Woods says ASMS and ACC have been in talks since October last year, including ASMS seeking mediation assistance.
“Its current proposal to disestablish over 100 more positions has created a lot of stress for ACC employees, including medical advisors. Unfortunately, over the course of our negotiations with ACC, it’s become increasingly clear to our members that ACC hasn’t been listening to their concerns.
As well as a statement on wellbeing and a fair redundancy clause, Mr Woods says ACC medical advisors are seeking a 1% per year salary increase, and a small amount of time set aside each week for medical advisors to do research.
“ACC has offered to increase funding for continuing professional development on a pro-rata basis but, disappointingly, has rejected the other very reasonable claims from our members.”
ASMS members at ACC will be balloted on industrial action over the next few days.