Dear fellow teachers of perspective,

2018 is a re-negotiation year for the NTCER and as many of you have noted, the NTCER negotiations highlight just how tough general practice is for everyone.

When it comes to decision making around earning potential and which medical specialty one will choose one thing is clear: no-one chooses general practice for earning potential. This is true for supervisors, practice principals and registrars alike.

The most recent words, the media releases and the strategy around registrar claims have disappointed some in the sector.

Some might wonder why GPSA are not responding to every media release published by the registrar organisation. In short, continuing down this divisive path is to the detriment of the GP community.

The simple fact is: it is financially tough to be a GP registrar, GP supervisor, and GP practice principal. This appears to be corroborated by the volume of journalists writing on the topic of GP remuneration.

The NTCER allows business decisions to be made where it is viable to do so, while protecting the earnings of registrars with a base salary and affording registrars the opportunity to earn far greater income than the base as they become more competent.

The first meeting of the negotiations took place with GPRA on 7 July 2018 with the AMA providing impartial chairing of the meeting.

The claims addressed by the registrars at the negotiation meeting held recently identified a number of items largely outside the control of the NTCER and those negotiating it.

More than ever, through this negotiation GPSA’s aim is to provide certainty and stability for all stakeholders as we move into the period of transition of training to the colleges.

This will be achieved with the cooperation, good will and common intent of all the parties to provide certainty to registrars, practices, RTOs and other key stakeholders in the general practice arena.

Good progress was made at the recent meeting – we will keep you updated.

The aim is still to have an NTCER by September/October 2018 in order for practices and RTOs to have certainty with placements for the first term of 2019.

This fortnight I encourage all of you to have a conversation with your registrars about the business costs of general practice. Nurturing your registrar’s perspectives on employment conditions with a view from the employers end will likely support a more balanced view of the context in which they are training.

Yours in GP Training,

Dr Steve Holmes
Chair, GPSA

Date reviewed: 30 November 2018

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