With the current political climate in Australia, it is difficult to see how the union movement can survive, particularly when the Australian Medical Association has decided to boycott the Olympics, the AMA’s national secretary John Copley said.
“I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to think we’re going to see some form of collective bargaining between the medical profession and the AMA in a number of areas,” he said.
But the medical association has a long history of taking a hard line against unions.
The AMA was once a key player in negotiating the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and was instrumental in persuading it to remove its ties with the union Unite.
Unite’s decision to walk away from the bargaining process last year is a sign that the medical union is increasingly distancing itself from the ALP, Mr Copleys fears.
“We’re now looking at the AAPS in a much more nuanced way.
We’re not going to go into the same territory that Unite did,” he told the ABC.”
So, the two groups are not going back together as well.”
The AAPS said it would be “unprecedented” for the two sides to work together in a bargaining situation, adding that it was important to have an “open and honest dialogue”.
It said it “will not take any action” to avoid a disruption of patient care during the Games.
“In all of our history, there has never been a time when there has been a single medical professional or union to have walked away from negotiations and then have a boycott of an Olympics event,” it said in a statement.