Stop the Clinical Faction – Spill the Board

RAPS has been asked why we want to Spill the board. For some, it has come out of the blue and is a bit of a shock.

Board spill resolution is appropriate for a situation where shareholders (or members) get so fed up that they take a position that the existing directors of a company should be replaced by a new set of directors.

The National Australia Bank bank did just this in 2011 in order to completely change the board and the culture that had developed around it.

RAPS is also fed up with the APS board and its bias towards a single group of clinical psychology members.

We believe the board has become unworkable with a majority of clinical psychologists dominating the board since February – including the president, Vice-President and Executive director – and it can no longer represent the interests of all APS members.

A spill and change of leadership is particularly important with the Medicare Review of psychology items numbers coming up in the next 18 months. We must have new leaders in place before then.

The number of people voting on the RAPS poll (1172) only confirms our view that something must be done or the Society will split. The RAPS poll shows that 80% of respondents would consider leaving the APS if the board does not begin representing the interests of generalist psychologists, with 9% also unsure and only 10% definitely against leaving.

This large number of poll votes already makes up half the number of votes cast in last year’s election, and it is growing every day. Members are finally waking up and speaking up. The control of our Society by the clinical faction has to end.

The APS President, Mr Anthony Cichello, has not delivered on his promise at the AGM last year: that “no one group would dominate the board'”. Indeed it has become laughable, given that we now have six clinical psychologists on the 11-member board. During his six  months of presidency, the APS has become more divided than ever.

There are suggestions that the board may be illegitimate and the clinical directors should resign due to a conflict of interest.

But the final straw for RAPS was the APS survey. Its lack of transparency and obvious manipulation of the questions showed us that it is geared to support the two-tier system. The lack of specific membership details means the responses may all come from one group and not represent all members. The results will not be reliable.

Many of our supporters have made similar comments.

For RAPS, a board spill resolution is the only democratic way to clean the slate and give members a chance to elect a completely new board to lead us forward.

The next general elections will not fix the problem as only two directors are retiring. What we need is a clean sweep – like the NAB.