Promote and protect RMO interests
In short, the RDA supports RMOs, pursues RMOs’ interests, and negotiates and enforces RMOs terms and conditions of employment. We are a democratic union – so that means that we ask what our members want before we act on their behalf and we are not politically aligned: our role is to represent RMOs and we must be free to do that regardless of who is in power. In actively lobbying for our members interests, we comment publicly where appropriate and communicate with other medical organisations (both in New Zealand and overseas), politicians, government organisations and those in the private sector. It is through the union that you have an opportunity to have your say and influence decisions that may affect your future in the delivery of health services in New Zealand. We provide advocacy advice and support for workforce issues that may arise including those related to compliance and enforcement of your employment agreement. We also provide individual representation services to you if you so require.
Sooner rather than later
Here at the NZRDA ofﬁce, we help numerous members with a variety of situations on a daily basis, such as: disciplinary matters, personal grievances and breaches of the terms and conditions of your contract. In a nutshell, we are here to assist and to guide you when (as does happen) things “go wrong”. However, we stress that when things do “go wrong” you need to get in touch with us sooner rather than later! This might sound like common sense, but you would be surprised at how many members contact us ‘after the fact’. Say for example, after they have been to an initial (or a number of) meeting(s) with their employer without any support person or, worse still, with their “mother” as a support person (assuming your mother is not a medico-industrial practitioner). In this situation, there is a risk that important points will not be conveyed to the employer, or you may jeopardise your position by acknowledging or agreeing to something without understanding the implications. It is important to be aware that when talking with an employer in this context, it is rarely ‘just a chat’. You always have the right to representation. So… we suggest that when an issue arises, you contact us.
REPRESENTATION OF RMOs
The RDA represents RMOs on a wide range of issues:
- The HWNZ medical relevance group operates to ensure all TIs get a job as a first year
- The MCNZ regarding pre-vocational training, bullying and sexual harassment of RMOs
- Workload and supervision pressure that directly affect you starting from day one as an RMO
At the completion of the Trainee Intern (TI) year (the 6th and final year of medical school) RMOs can apply to DHBs within New Zealand for employment. An RMO’s first appointment as a first year house surgeon position is referred to as a house officer. During the second year an RMO is known as a second year house surgeon and from the third and fourth years RMOs are then are referred to as senior house officers. It takes a minimum of 12 months for a first year RMO to gain general registration with the Medical Council of New Zealand.
What is an RMO?
A resident doctor or resident medical officer (RMO) is a person who has graduated from medical school as a qualified doctor and is undergoing further training to become fully qualified in whatever vocational field that they so choose. The RDA is the only organisation in New Zealand solely representing the interests of RMOs. The term ‘resident’ comes from the availability of RMOs who are primarily on site in the hospitals.