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ASMS seeks injunction to stop ACC change proposal

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

"ACC’s proposal to disestablish over 100 jobs in its clinical services directorate is unlawful and causing unnecessary stress for affected staff," says Lloyd Woods, a Senior Industrial Officer at the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). ASMS has sought an urgent injunction from the Employment Relations Authority to stop ACC proceeding with its proposal. "We believe ACC’s proposal is fundamentally unfair and that it will breach the collective agreement covering medical advisors, so we’re doing our best to stop this flawed process from proceeding," says Mr Woods.

"ACC has a habit of taking a cavalier attitude to people’s jobs, making a nonsense of their mantra about putting people ahead of processes. The callous disregard they’re showing in this situation for people who are anxious about the future of their employment is just staggering."

ASMS had previously advised ACC that its actions were unlawful, but the organisation had chosen to continue with its flawed proposal. Mr Woods says ACC had disestablished at least 991 positions since 2013, resulting in 268 redundancies. Many employees had had their jobs disestablished without real cause. ACC’s latest proposal outlined plans to disestablish about 60 medical advisors, resulting in about 6.4 full time equivalent (FTE) redundancies, but Mr Woods says many of those jobs would have to be retained.

"By appearing to put all of the jobs on the line, all the while knowing that most of them will still be needed, ACC is causing massive stress and distress for no reason and, in our view, acting unlawfully."

ASMS represents most of the medical advisors employed by ACC, who provide specialised medical advice on claims. As well as representing their concerns about ACC’s change proposal, ASMS has also been negotiating pay and conditions for medical advisors since the end of last year. Those talks have stalled and 39 members are due to start a series of rolling stoppages for four hours at a time on a different day each week, for five weeks starting from Tuesday 17 July.

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