AV and ESTA’s failure to operate on a level that allowed some flexibility to scale up with increases in demand has caused significant harm to almost all employees. In recent days we have seen more discussion about the impact of the surge workforce in AV. This was a stop-gap measure that was necessary because AV was already pushing staff to the limit pre-Covid. Normal increases in demand and a stretched health system left AV with no option but to use the surge workforce.
We probably sound like a broken record here, but there were options that AV could have implemented that would have reduced the harm caused by the surge model. Our proposal to utilise the MATS graduates and operational managers instead of surge workforce would potentially have halved the number of surge shifts. The response from the government and AV continues to be dismissive and insulting to all of you that have been carrying the service throughout recent months.
In response to recent pressure AV are looking to briskly scale back the surge usage. In isolation this sounds like a good idea, but the only fix provided by AV to keep ambulances on the road is to incentivise paramedics to work more. There may be some benefit from less sick leave taken because paramedics are working less often with surge. However, there could also be a negative impact because of the additional pressure resulting from dropped shifts, missed meal breaks, additional continuous overtime and paramedics working more shifts.
So, whilst on road staff are forced to accept working more hours to keep the system afloat, the government, the Dept of Health and the AV Exec get to dodge accountability yet again. They have all hidden under the covers whenever we have raised our ideas. None have provided a reasonable excuse for not implementing them so we can only assume their refusal to support paramedics is based on a failure to understand the impact. Yet another reason why managers should have been forced to get their hands dirty and see firsthand the harm that is being caused.
AV – WORKSAFE – CLEARING KPI
This week the A/RD of Gippsland gaslit staff in an email supposedly addressing the issue of clearing KPI’s. On the back of a recent email from the same A/RD criticising staff who didn’t work overtime, this is a further indicator that the Gippsland region has significant managerial concerns.
Effectively the A/RD has stated that there has never been pressure to achieve the 20 min clearing KPI and that the pressure is just perceived. This may come as a shock to those of you who have been asked by senior managers to pressure your staff to achieve the 20 mins or to those of you who have been threatened with disciplinary action or performance management or been on the receiving end of a rebuke by a manager. It seems we all just imagined it.
You can read the email here. The AEAV will be calling this behaviour out with WorkSafe and the AV Exec.
MILDURA AMBULANCE RESOURCING
Last week our team spent some time in the Northern Mallee hearing from paramedics, ACO’s and the community. Mildura people are regularly being told to find their own way to hospital after years of the government and AV failing to acknowledge the increasing workload that comes with 10% increases in population each year. The AEAV is asking the local member, Ali Cupper to put pressure on the Andrews government to increase resourcing urgently.
After a cancellation, the third NPT Bargaining meeting is scheduled for 28 June 2022. In the meantime, we have sent a list of questions we would like clarification on. We will keep members informed as negotiations continue.
AV – WORKSAFE – AP12 RESTRICTIONS
Recently we met with WorkSafe Investigators to discuss the changes to restrictions for AP12’s. We have provided WorkSafe with supporting documentation that indicates that historically AV had the restrictions in place to provide time for consolidation of skills and gaining more experience before becoming the senior person on a crew. The investigation continues.
AV – WINTER UNIFORM
There has been quite a bit of discussion about whether the current uniform is fit for purpose, particularly in winter. People are cold and the layering of multiple pieces of uniform is not working. It was disappointing to hear the response of a senior executive in a recent meeting with staff who stated words to the effect of, “Unfortunately there’s not much we can do about that”. The AV Exec. cannot dodge accountability for health & safety concerns.
With non-alpine rural regions regularly experiencing temperatures of zero or below, this issue is not one to be ignored. Staff should submit HSCS’s if they are unable to stay warm when using the uniform provided.
We will be speaking with WorkSafe to discuss options for getting AV to address this.
ESTA – MOU
The current ESTA MOU covering pandemic demand response initiatives expires at the end of this month! ESTA and unions have not reached an agreement for the next MOU covering members through until January 2023.
ESTA has verbally agreed to roll the current MOU into July to allow more time for negotiations, so members should expect to continue to receive the current increased shift penalties for now.
You can read a detailed outline of what has been discussed within past MOU meetings here.
AV – ROSTERS INCREMENTS
Rosters members are still waiting for a response from the Dept of Health regarding how they are going resolve the issue of underpayment of wages. Word from inside government indicates that the AEAV has “opened a can of worms”. Clearly this can of worms had not been opened before so contrary to some claims out there, this matter was not under control.
DISCOUNTED TAX RETURNS FOR AEAV MEMBERS
Did you know that AEAV members can access discounted tax returns through our accounting partners AASB, who has a track record of lodging tax returns with Paramedics and other ambulance workers and offers a 10% discount to AEAV members?
For more information and to access the deal, click HERE.
JOKE OF THE WEEK
A husband and wife have four boys. The odd part of it is that the older three have red hair, light skin, and are tall, while the youngest son has black hair, dark eyes, and is short. The father eventually takes ill and is lying on his deathbed when he turns to his wife and says, “Honey, before I die, be completely honest with me. Is our youngest son my child?” The wife replies, “I swear on everything that’s holy that he is your son.” With that, the husband passes away. The wife then mutters, “Thank God he didn’t ask about the other three.”
KEEP IN TOUCH
As always, if you have any issues, questions or queries, get in touch by leaving a message on 9287 1713 or email [email protected]