New Year, New Minister

Change is one of those things some people find hard. For other’s ‘change is as good as a holiday’ they say and, while I don’t believe any of the health profession is in for a holiday as-a-result-of recent changes to the Ministry, we welcome any voice of reason that the current change may bring.

GP Supervisors met with Riwka Hagen, Practice Manager of Gisborne Medical Centre in Victoria to deliver recognition of service awards three of their doctors received. We were love-struck with a strategy Riwka described about negotiating employment contracts with registrars.

Riwka simply asks a prospective registrar how much they need to earn. “I am not interested in a discussion about percentages. I want to know what monetary amount they ‘need’ to earn. Then I can tell them what they will need to do to earn that amount,” Riwka said. Their earning potential is all in their own hands.

What we like about this strategy is it reinforces a notion that our future GP workforce will need to embrace throughout their careers; your earning potential is linked to how hard and effectively you work rather than the percentage you negotiate.

Learning to build a reputation and thereafter a loyal client list, putting in the hours and servicing patients effectively and efficiently is not learnt overnight, but they are the skills a registrar learns in an apprenticeship model on the job, in addition to the medicine.

Reorganising your percentage negotiation to a discussion oriented around how a registrar will need to operate to achieve it, places the registrar at the centre of the equation rather than the practice. It is ultimately engaging and empowering for the registrar, and links earning potential explicitly to the registrar’s work ethic and capability.

The existing National Terms and Conditions for the Employment of Registrars is in place until December 2018. You will have likely established contracts with your registrars ahead of their commencement this term. The GPSA mantra remains the same – the percentage negotiate was conducted in 2016. Both GPSA and GPRA agreed on what was fair and reasonable as a percentage – 44.79%.

You can simplify registrar recruitment by simply using the GPSA employment agreement template and sticking to the terms and conditions. And remember, the GPSA team are always available to answer any of your queries in relation to employment agreements and the NTCER you can reach to office on 03) 54409077 or via email: .

At GPSA, we are all about sharing great ideas, many of which come from the coal-face. If you have a practice manager or a fellow supervisor who does something really innovative, effective or you have an idea about what service or product would make your life simpler. Let us know. We exist to serve and support our membership.

Dr Steve Holmes
Chair, GPSA

Date reviewed: 22 March 2017

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