Tag: leave

Starting work and the MECA

Starting work and the MECA

Most RMOs don’t ever get around to reading the their employment contract (MECA). In this episode, Sam talks to NZRDA advocates Melissa Dobbyn and Tara Martin about what you need to know, and where to get help.

  • Key concepts to be familiar with
    • Cross cover outside ordinary hours (XXOOH)
    • Cross cover
    • Max 2 long days in 7
    • 72 hour rule
    • 144 hour rule
    • 8 hour break rule
    • 1:2/1:3 weekend rule + safer roster exception
    • Sleep recovery days
  •  Leave
    • Entitlement
    • Leave abutting weekends
    • Lieu days
      • 14 days, undeniable
      • Abutting rule doesn’t count
      • Can’t be transferred
      • Can’t be used on statutory holiday
    • Leave transfer
    • Sick leave
    • Parental leave
  •   Costs of training
    • Entitlements as a house officer
    • APC application and renewal
    • Insurance
    • MEL
      • Rarely granted in PGY1, discretionary
      • PGY2+ entitled to 5 days/year, extendable to 2 weeks for PGDip OMG/Paeds
      • There is a 12 week total entitlement per vocational pathway, but isn’t something to be too worried about at this stage. Will probably increase. DHBs are required to help you get through training.
      • Includes interviews, transport, flights, accommodation
  •  Keep a work diary from day 1
    • Leave applied/taken/transferred
    • Claims made/paid
  •  Rosters
    • Published 28 days before, then can’t change, otherwise after hours shifts are optional
    • 14 days for reliever, paid 2 categories above
    • Short notice relief – know the rules
    • Part of a run desctiption – cannot be changed with 2/3 agreement by RMOs concerned
    • Run review
  •  Insurance
    • NZMPI
      • Provides actual insurance, governed by NZ insurance law
      • NZ company, NZRDA is a shareholder
    • MPS
      • Provides discretionary cover, not governed by NZ insurance law
      • UK company
    • Medicus
  •  Superannuation
    • Entitled to 6% of your salary to superannuation
    • Can put it all into Kiwisaver or all into a scheme
    • Or split 3%/3%
    • There is an NZRDA scheme, but also some others. Just make sure you’re signed up to something to receive your entitlement.
  •  Where to get help (you need to be an RDA member)
  •  RDA membership
    • 90% of RMOs are members.
    • RDA is the only organisation solely representing RMOs. They do not represent SMOs, GPs or anyone in management.
    • If you run into trouble during your career an RMO, you will be far more likely to have a good outcome if you are an RDA member. RDA will provide extensive help, but only if you were a member at the time the problem arose. This is seperate to medical indemnity cover, that won’t cover professional and industrial issues.
    • Our working conditions are only good because RDA members before you fought hard for them. Where union membership is low, the conditions erode. Look no further than the UK where the pay is bad, job satisfaction low, expenses not reimbursed, and residents are forced to work unsafely.
    • As an RDA member you have a say on all issues the RDA is involved with, especially negotiating the MECA and rosters.
  •  Getting into trouble
    • Happens to the best of us
    • Outcomes often influenced on how the complaint is managed
    • Contact RDA early
    • A “support person” should be a RDA delegate or advocate
    • How to approach problems with RMO unit and supervisors
  • Wellness
    • Important to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
    • The first year as a house officer is probably the highest risk for having a break down. It happens every year.
    • Headspace

Resources