This week Ambulance Victoria will release their roadmap for creating a safe, fair and inclusive workplace. The plan covers the period 2022 – 27.
It has been almost 8 months since the release of volume one of VEOHRC’s review and unfortunately apart from a lot of words and glossy publications we have seen very little change in the attitude of some of the most senior managers within the organisation.
This year alone we have challenged the following behaviours by managers at Area Manager level (or corporate equivalent) or above:
Falsification of documents
Inappropriate behaviour in meetings
Intentionally false statements when responding to complaints
Failure to act on complaints made about mates
Targeting individuals for raising health and safety concerns
Inconsistent decision making
Criticising staff for taking sick leave
Denial of historical pressure to achieve KPI’s
Stacking panel for recruitment matters
Ignoring requests for information.
Meanwhile the Professional Conduct Unit has been stripped of resources with no appropriately resourced alternative. Staff complaints are being dragged out for unacceptable periods with complaints and respondents both being treated poorly and significant issues around the provision of natural justice.
When the VEOHRC review was first announced in 2020 the AEAV called on the government and the AV Board to immediately stand up an appropriate body or team to protect staff and to have some oversight. The board and the government refused and as a result the harm has continued unabated.
So, this week we will see another glossy publication and more promises which we will be reading with a very sceptical eye. Despite all the promises to date, many of the most senior in the organisation have still failed to act.
Their failure to provide a safe workplace has not only destroyed careers and lives but will cost the Victorian taxpayers. The newly created 22-person department tasked with bringing AV into the 21st century is only necessary because of the failures of the executive and will have a wages bill alone in the vicinity of $3,000,000 per year. Additional to this is the cost of the VEOHRC review and other ongoing expenses, but these same individuals are now lauded as champions for change.
We need to see more than words from them, we need to see them lead by example, and if they can’t do that then they should be shown the door.
AV – ROSTERS INCREMENTS
In April we wrote to the Health Minister to request intervention in an underpayment issue involving Rosters members. The team has been extremely patient whilst the government has shown contempt for the members. That contempt escalated to an unacceptable level last week with the government saying that the delay in responding is now because they did not know what resolution was being sought. That is despite the 3-page letter, and subsequent discussions with the government, clearly setting out what would resolve the matter.
It is astonishing that this government that purports to be so supportive of paramedics could turn a blind eye to discriminating against staff from one department. The AEAV is now preparing a legal case and will publicly call out the government and AV’s willingness to disadvantage one team.
AV – PERFORMANCE REVIEW
We have recently been publicly calling for a review of AV’s performance indicators. Discussions continue with the organisations that make up Victoria’s integrity system to ascertain the most appropriate department for the review.
This week we have written a piece for the Ambulance Active magazine which goes into more detail on what we’re calling for. You can read the article here.
AV – FTS MERCER REVIEW
The saga that is the FTS pay banding review continues. After almost 12 months of delays by AV, the FTS staff have every right to feel that AV does not value them as individuals or the role they perform for the organisation. The most recent delays are attributable to one AV Executive who has shown no intent to have this matter resolved for the FTS team. And yet this AV Exec will no doubt be presented this week as a champion for change.
After escalating this matter within AV we have finally had some movement and we are expecting to hear the outcomes of the FTS Mercer review any day now.
ESTA – MOU
The final Memorandum of Understanding has been sent to the union for signing. The unions industrial team are reviewing the MOU and based on their recommendation, the union will sign the agreement by 29 July. AEAV would like to acknowledge the time and dedication Delegate Sharyne Doensen put into ensuring that members voices were heard during MOU discussions. ESTA and the unions will make a joint announcement regarding the MOU entitlements once the MOU is signed.
ESTA – ENTERPRISE BARGAINING
Negotiations are set to commence within the next 6 months so it is time to start locking down what claims you would like to include. We have compiled a list over the journey, but your input is essential to ensure the claims are representative. Please click here to add your thoughts for the next round of negotiations.
AEAV WOMEN’S EVENT
In two weeks, ambulance women members from across the sector will be gathering for our first Ambulance Women’s Event! If you would like to join us for a day of professional development with Lisa Munday on Appreciative Inquiry RSVP here!
NPT negotiations for a new agreement are proceeding well. The latest session was held on Tuesday 26 July. Whilst it is difficult to talk about any specifics as any agreement is yet to be finalised, the AEAV is comfortable that talks are progressing well on several issues.
Negotiations are ongoing with the next discussions to be held on 24 August. It is anticipated that some of the larger claims such as the Classification Structure and associated pay rates will be discussed at that time. In the meantime, the unions plan to caucus again to finalise a number of positions and discuss further NPT’s responses to various claims and develop a unified response to NPT.
AV – ENTERPRISE BARGAINING
Soon we will sending out a link to a free form document where AV employees can enter thoughts on potential AV EB claims. With bargaining due to commence in February 2023 it is time to start locking down what claims you would like to include. We have compiled a list over the journey, but your input is essential to ensure the claims are representative.
AEAV membership entitles you to discounted psychometric coaching through the Institute of Psychometric Coaching (IPC). Many of our members have already used this service and done very well as a result. The test continues to be used by AV so don’t risk a poor result.