Member raises hell!

Here’s another disturbing comment  from an APS member who is concerned about APS members being too squeamish …
“We have heard a lot lately about how awful those Melbourne people were, shouting at the general meeting and not being respectful to the President. In fact we’re told that many ordinary APS members are just sick of the arguing and want to go on with their lives. Finally we’re told that it’s all useless since the governance review got up (by 106 votes).
Well if you don’t want to hear from RAPS, take control of your life and unsubscribe. Simple, really.
But just think about it.  It’s been 10 years since psychologists got access to Medicare, but on a two-tier system. That’s 10 years since clinical psychologists have benefited from a higher remuneration than the other 70% of equally effective members in the Society, without any evidence to justify it.
How could this happen? Well, keep in mind that the ruling faction on the board for the past 17 years, with their succession of Presidents and Presidents Elect, has been the Clinical College – supported by the academics. In 2013 there were no less than five professors on the board.
When they hatched this plan to create a new brand of clinical psychologists in 2006, they convinced government – well, Tony Abbott at least – that they were an elite group that deserved more money than others.
How did they fund all this lobbying to government? Well, they used our fees of course. Some would call this using members’ money to feather the nests of the few.  Others might call it a scam. Either way you look at it, it’s a conflict of interests, misuse of member’s funds and abject betrayal of the majority of members, to say nothing of the profession.”
As another member today observed about the Gang of Five who set this up: “We were too busy doing our jobs to keep an eye on these people, and we just didn’t believe that the people who represented us would be capable to that sort of treachery.” She has since resigned from the APS and taken up an entirely different profession.
RAPS is trying to keep members informed and fighting for wage justice. But if you’re happy being paid less than you’re worth, and you don’t care about the drastic changes that are going to affect you as the Clinical College noose around the profession slowly but surely tightens, you can just unsubscribe.
No social system changes without conflict. Why do you think women (the majority of psychologists) are taught that it’s unladylike to shout and argue? And that’s just what the Melbourne RAPS people did, didn’t they?  THEY MADE A FUSS! Outrageous! Off with their heads. Imagine them having the nerve to argue.
Yes, if you want to go on being a nice girl – just unsubscribe. Reflect on why we have a gender pay gap in this country. It’s because women so rarely stand up for themselves. But you have every right not to care two hoots about your livelihood, and loudly complain about those who do.
You’re perfectly free to go on being the sort of example of learned helplessness that some of us hope our daughters and grand-daughters don’t learn. You wouldn’t let your clients get away with that, would you?  You’d be constructively confronting in a flash. But when it’s you who thinks that people who don’t meekly accept injustice are loud and tiresome and committing an unpardonable offence against etiquette … well, that’s another thing entirely.
So if you believe that, do more than unsubscribe.  Go to bed and pull the covers over your head.
Meanwhile, the rest of us can gird our bloody loins up, as C.J. Dennis once implored Australians of a generation that knew what courage and principle demanded, and move on and support the spill, fight for wage justice, get some changes happening and MAKE A FUSS!


18 thoughts on “Member raises hell!

  1. Time for a bit of a poetic angle on this: To anyone wondering why there are so many registered psychologists who are not happy with the narrowing of the profession into the apartheid we now live with, here is a bit of Dylan Thomas for you to understand why careers being killed off, don’t go quietly:

    Do not go gentle into that good night
    Dylan Thomas, 1914 – 1953

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  2. Well, aren’t we talking about lower training requirements, no recognised specialisation? Psychology has so much to offer and this is just risking it all. I still as we are on the verge of great things this mess erupts. I can’t imagine any other profession having members advocating for a reduction in fees. This is absolute madness.

  3. I liked the RAPS comments re Melbourne meeting. Yes APS has had 10 years to rectify an error made by Tony Abbott. Even though they may not have lobbied to have the 2 tier system in the first place, they haven’t lobbied to remove it either. They haven’t told Govt that the 2 tier system doesn’t benefit the public who seek psychological services, discriminates between members of the profession when this is unwarranted. There is no evidence to support it and the APS, so keen on evidence based practice, is itself ignoring a principal tenet of all psychological practice worth having. Not sure a spill will do much though. It’s important to get new committee members who have the will to make the changes that benefits the whole psychological enterprise in this country and the public who use the services.

  4. Sure you can disagree as much as you wish, but others do have the right of reply. As to the explanation of learned helplessness as a reason for what we have allowed to happen in our profession, can you think of another explanation why a whole group of people allow (ed) themselves to be discriminated against ?

    1. Not the point I was making; I was highlighting how patronizing it was to pathologise any position differing from RAPS. I have noticed that some RAPS supporters are quite quick to diagnose any dissenters as showing indicators of “learned helplessness”, “gaslighting”, “narcissism” etc, which is a shame as demonising any opposing views in such a manner only stifles debate.

      1. I think that the debate so far has been carried on in a very polite way, but I have to agree with Lara, that ‘learned helplessness’ is the only (courteously named) reason I can see for the passivity with which most members accept their relegation to a lower income and lower status. There a number of other terms, that come to mind, but in the interests of people staying calm and reasonable with each other on line, I won’t put them in here.

        So let’s hear the disagreement and why you feel that way. There’s nothing stopping people speaking their minds.

        1. If the position of RAPS is that the only possible explanation for any psychologist or psychology student not fully supporting RAPS is “the sort of example of learned helplessness that some of us hope our daughters and grand-daughters don’t learn” or worse, who am I as a mere Masters student to argue with the reasoned conclusions of a group of psychologists with decades of experience between them?

    2. I don’t think the intention was to demonise but to try to understand. Once you realise that you a system has been set up which is deliberately contrived to deny you agency, thus teaching you that you are helpless, then you have a choice to do something to change it.

  5. Is it possible to disagree with the views and/or approaches used by RAPS without being diagnosed as “the sort of example of learned helplessness that some of us hope our daughters and grand-daughters don’t learn”?

  6. Hear Hear and Hear again! You are champions! We all need to revolt in any way we can.

      1. Thank you to those involved with RAPS for standing up for my rights as a psychologists while I spend my time working with complex clients and managing everything that comes with that

        1. As I read these comments, it’s clear that the RAPS website is like the kiss of Prince Charming waking up the Sleeping Beauty of the psychology profession. Imagine the 20,000 members ALL being informed and influential and making intelligent choices! What a threat to the current Board. Watch out that they don’t try to shut you down. Ignorance is the greatest weapon of tyrants. It’ll be legal action next, so keep steady and don’t lose your nerve in the fight.

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