Happy New Year to all our members. We hope that everyone has had some time with their families over the festive season or is due to shortly. We send our heartfelt thanks to those across all emergency services who have worked to support and protect the community during this period.
The AEAV has an exciting and big year ahead. Officials and delegates are currently working hard on two logs of claims for upcoming EBAs for Ambulance Victoria and ESTA 000. AEAV will be offering various training sessions for our members including opportunities to participate in events run by United Workers Union.
AV BARGAINING COMING UP
Officials have been consolidating the log of claims feedback from late last year. In the coming weeks, officials will be working closely with delegates to formulate a comprehensive log of claims that speaks to and represents the interests of all Ambulance staff working for Ambulance Victoria. If members want to learn more about the bargaining process or wish to get involved, please let us know via email: [email protected]
AV – AEAV/UWU DELEGATES MEET CEO SHELLEY DOLAN
Last week, AEAV/UWU Delegates met with CEO Shelley Dolan to discuss their concerns regarding the Professional Conduct Unit and the delays in the implementation of the Professional Standards and Behaviour Department.
Our delegates did a terrific job in speaking openly about their own negative experiences with the PCU and offering important feedback on how the PSBD could avoid such shortcomings. Our delegates communicated that it was important that the new structure should operate independently; managers should receive appropriate and adequate in-person training to handle complaints on the worksite before they worsen and are escalated; and lastly that all staff within the organisation should be provided in-person training around the expectations of conduct and behaviour at work. Dolan was receptive to the suggestions and committed to meeting again with the Union and the Delegates in the coming months to provide further updates.
AV – AEAV/UWU WITHDRAWAL OF SUPPORT FOR EXTENSION OF SURGE MOU
In mid-October, the AEAV reluctantly agreed to endorse the first extension of MOU – Surge Transition to 16 January 2023 as the Union recognised the ongoing strain on the system. Having endorsed the extension, we were very aware of the increased stressors placed on paramedics having to work with surge staff and the impacts this was having on their mental health.
AEAV/ UWU met with AV in December to discuss the rollback of some of the COVID arrangements. At the meeting, AV announced that they would be seeking a further extension to the MOU until the end of June 2023. Based on the feedback we received from members and delegates, the officials wrote to AV withdrawing our support for the extension of the surge.
It is the Union’s view that given COVID-19 is now an endemic part of Victorian society, a permanent increase in the operational Paramedic and Non-emergency staffing FTE numbers is the only enduring solution for the ever-increasing demand for ambulance services (COVID-19 related or not) and hospital ramping issues.
If you are aware of inappropriate utilisation of Surge Responders make sure to report it here.
ESTA – ARE YOU GETTING RECALLED FROM YOUR BREAK MORE THAN ONCE PER SHIFT?
Due to staff shortages, the number of ESTA staff being ‘recalled’ whilst on break has risen. As per the current Memorandum of Understanding (the MOU), staff are entitled to a $20 penalty if they are recalled twice in a shift. To ensure that AEAV members are getting compensated, delegates are advising members to notify their team leader, keep their records and check their payslips.
If members are having issues with payroll – please let your delegates know or either call Union Organiser Jules Gibson on 0422 682 622 or send an email to [email protected].
ESTA – AEAV DELEGATE’S PERSEVERANCE & TENACITY WIN AGAIN FOR MEMBERS
Late December 2022, ESTA staff received their back payment of a 10% pandemic surge allowance for shifts worked Friday/Saturday and Sunday nights and it’s all thanks to our AEAV delegates.
This has been a long time coming as AEAV argued through the Memorandum of Understanding (the MOU) negotiations that ESTA staff needed to be more appropriately compensated for working unsociable shift times.
Despite ESTA agreeing to pay the amounts, several months passed and ESTA showed little sign of resolving the issue.
Our AEAV delegates persisted and called for more transparency from management around the reasons for the delay and how ESTA would back pay fairly and reasonably. After many back-and-forth emails and re-raising at MOU ESTA meetings, ESTA has not only provided a deadline but also for our members to be paid at a rate of $32 for part shifts missed.
AEAV will be pushing for a surge allowance in the next upcoming EBA.
HOLIDAY PAY DELAYED DUE TO UNDERSTAFFING & LACK OF TRAINING IN PAYROLL
ESTA’s commitment to honouring the back payments promised under the MOU meant that members did not receive their holiday pay until after the festive period – causing much frustration and disappointment for many who needed the extra money during this time.
Bargaining with ESTA has just commenced. The AEAV/UWU officials have actively listened to the members and gathered survey answers to collate a comprehensive draft log of claims. Delegates and officials met on 12 January 2023 and the feedback from our delegates has been hugely positive. It was concluded that ESTA staff are an integral part of Emergency Services and thus a part of Victoria’s Public Sector. Consequently, our log of claims must reflect this to ensure that the days of privatisation and the view that ESTA 000 is a call centre are long gone.
Our delegates are currently fine-tuning the draft LOC to ensure that the log of claims represents and speaks to the interests of the workers across all ESTA worksites. Once reviewed and approved by our delegates, the log of claims will be put to the wider membership for it to be endorsed.
Officials will be visiting all worksites and contacting members over the coming weeks to ensure that we have the full support of our members when we go into the first bargaining meeting. If members want further information about the bargaining process or the log of claims, call Organiser Jules Gibson on 0422682622.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY – 8 MARCH 2023
In every state and across every industry, women workers in Australia are taking action on 8 March to recognise and celebrate International Women’s Day! AEAV delegates will meet with their union sisters to plan for national action, in our union and in solidarity with all our communities that stand up for equality and the rights of workers. When union women come together, they are powerful!
VOICE TO PARLIAMENT
The Uluru Statement from the Heart has long been supported by members of the AEAV and United Workers Union.
In October, the UWU Member Council endorsed a campaign plan to make sure that UWU is a leader in the upcoming referendum for a constitutionally recognised Voice to Parliament for First Nations peoples.
AEAV is proud to participate in the campaign to ensure every member in every industry within UWU is supported and empowered to advocate for change in their wider communities and demonstrate union power in bringing about social change.
If any members want to get involved, please reach out to one of your Delegates or Union Officials or email us at [email protected].