With the re-emergence of strict Covid-19 restrictions and a heightened risk for our frontline workers there is a definite feeling in the air of “not again”. As if 2020 wasn’t draining enough for each of you and then the “demand spike” occurred. Or so we are told.
The true figures indicate that the demand is similar to pre-Covid levels. As a result of the health system running on bare bones, and frontline staff being squeezed over recent years, there was nothing left in the tank when ramping got worse. After years of just making do, it is now time to invest in health for tomorrow, not yesterday.
State Budget outcomes
Last week’s Victorian budget saw some wins for ambulance workers in Victoria. The previously announced $759m for Ambulance Victoria (AV) and hospital emergency departments was formalised, and we saw an additional $12 million towards staffing increases at ESTA. We have been calling for significant investments in the ambulance sector for some time now. We are now looking to the allocation of these additional funds. Read our response to the announcement HERE
Submissions are due by Monday, and several members have been contributing to the submission from AEAV. We will provide a copy of our recommendations once completed.
In recent weeks AEAV has highlighted a disparity between the outcomes of the AV People Matter Survey (PMS) and the figures reported by AV to the public and the government regarding governance, leadership and culture since 2016.
An extensive investigation by AEAV has found that the government instructs AV and other health services to use a technique that inflates the percentage of positive responses. Some percentages have been inflated by over 20 points. AV’s response is effectively that it is not their fault and that they focus on PMS outcomes anyway. If that is the case, then why has it taken media pressure for any real action to be initiated to address the cultural issues? Our investigation continues.
The chart below shows the difference between the actual figures from the PMS and the figures reported in the Annual Report and to the government. For more about this issue, check out our media release
ESTA Survey Results
The ESTA workload and stress survey is now closed. Results are HERE. Notably, participants were asked to rate out of 100 the adequacy of staffing levels at ESTA. The cumulative score was extremely low, at 19/100.
Letter to Danny Pearson re: additional staffing – ESTA
In the lead-up to the State Budget, AEAV wrote to the Acting Minister for Police and Emergency Services Danny Pearson about the chronic issues regarding staffing at ESTA. Read the letter HERE.
Meal Breaks AV – letter
Some staff are reporting good facilities at hospitals and some staff have been eating their lunch in the truck. AEAV has written to AV to ask about the risk assessments on meal breaks out of branch, and the process they have used to undergo consultation (and we notice that they have coincidentally advised staff they are now continuing consultation). For a fact sheet on Meal Breaks, click HERE
AV today agreed to meet with AEAV delegates to discuss the proposed changes to meal break management. We will keep you informed of the outcomes and don’t hesitate to let us know your thoughts.
AV work intensity survey
We are keen to hear from paramedics at AV about workload and stress issues, and particularly what you think might help improve the situation. Complete the survey HERE and share it to your networks!
Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs, OHS Representatives) have a key role in representing and supporting co-workers in their workgroup to ensure an employer lives up to their responsibility to provide a safe workplace. Read more HERE.
We are running training for Health & Safety Representatives through 2021 in various parts of Victoria. Get in touch with AEAV if you’re interested.
Laugh of the Week
This morning I saw a neighbour talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. I came into my house, told my dog – oh how we laughed!
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]