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Members urged to have their say in crucial vote


Matt Woodley


22/06/2022 4:56:31 PM

A resolution to confirm RACGP director remuneration was narrowly defeated at last year’s AGM, prompting the need for a new vote.

RACGP building sign.
The RACGP has called an extraordinary general meeting for 28 June to allow members to vote on a resolution related to Director remuneration.

At the college’s 64th Annual General Meeting, a resolution to remunerate RACGP directors during the 2022–23 financial year was narrowly defeated (49.8%). 
 
As a result, the college does not have a mandate to pay its Board members, including President Adjunct Professor Karen Price, beyond the end of the 2021–22 financial year.
 
To resolve the issue, the RACGP has called an extraordinary general meeting for 28 June, in which members will be asked to approve an aggregate remuneration of up to $1.185 million for the 14 directors that make up the college’s Board.
 
Under the terms of the resolution, $988,188.84 will be used to cover payment for all of the RACGP directors for the 2022–23 financial year, while the remaining $196,811.16 has been set aside as a contingency for unanticipated expenses.
 
Should the resolution be defeated again, no Board member will be paid over the coming five months until the next annual general meeting in November, at the earliest.
 
CEO Paul Wappett told newsGP it is ‘very common’ for organisations such as the RACGP to ask members to approve an overall pool of money from which all directors are paid, and that it is also standard procedure for that total to include a contingency amount.
 
‘Aside from the Board Chair and the Chair of the Finance Audit and Risk Management Committee who are co-opted to the Board, all Board members are passionate GPs who dedicate significant amounts of time to the college to support the general practice profession,’ he said.
 
‘Director remuneration for the 2022–23 financial year ranges from $45,602.87 to $262,082.87, including superannuation, and the increase from the current financial year reflects a proposed 2.5% CPI [consumer price index] change to ensure it aligns with market rates.
 
‘Becoming a Board member is essentially taking on an additional full-time job, and those who take on the commitment and the personal liability of being a director of the RACGP should be appropriately and fairly remunerated, in line with market rates, for the work they do for the college.’
 
The additional contingency money has been set aside to help fund any new activity as required, such as the co-opting of a director in relation to the establishment of an RACGP faculty in the Northern Territory.
 
Meanwhile, RACGP Vice President and Queensland Faculty Chair Dr Bruce Willett told newsGP it is important for directors to be appropriately remunerated to ensure there is a diverse range of representatives on the college’s Board to properly reflect college membership.
 
‘The Board sets the direction for the RACGP and is charged with overseeing excellent governance,’ he said.
 
‘Without remuneration for the time spent as a Board member, the role would be restricted to late-career GPs with significant savings or alternative means of income … and many female and early career stage GPs would find it particularly challenging to take up Board positions.’
 
Dr Willett also pointed out that Board members who double as RACGP Faculty Chairs are especially required to devote ‘significant investments of time’ into furthering the general practice profession.
 
‘While Board positions are remunerated, faculty chairs continue to donate between 1–3 days per week to progress general practice on behalf of our GPs and our patients,’ he said.
 
‘The current Board is focused strongly on creating a more member-focused responsive RACGP and it is essential that all general practice is represented.’
 
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Dr James Courts   23/06/2022 7:10:48 AM

Oh so many things that could be said.

"‘Becoming a Board member is essentially taking on an additional full-time job, and those who take on the commitment and the personal liability of being a director of the RACGP should be appropriately and fairly remunerated, in line with market rates, for the work they do for the college."

That old chestnut, often used by big business to 'attract the best' whilst the worker bees carry on, remember where GP pay sits in relation to other members of other colleges.

The uplift can be tied to medicare rebate uplifts and no more. I can imagine many GP households are looking at a certain $1503 yearly fee and asking themselves how does that benefit them. The only positive I can see is at least it is tax deductible.