The release of Volume 2 of the VEOHRC review into the culture at AV has generated plenty of discussion in the last week or so. Some of the commentary has centred on whether individuals should be held accountable. In our opinion the answer to that is a resounding YES. Culture is not just about systems, it is about people. And the people who have the power to identify and fix systems which cause harm should be held accountable when they fail to do so.
If you haven’t already, sign our important petition calling for AV’s workplace leaders to be held accountable HERE.
And read HERE if you missed the coverage of AEAV raising the issue of executive accountability after the VEOHRC report.
As if we needed a reminder that people in Exec can influence culture, on Wednesday the Gippsland A/Regional Director sent an email to all Gippsland staff effectively blaming paramedics for resourcing problems.
The email is offensive and potentially quite harmful. The basic premise of the email is that if paramedics weren’t taking as much leave and were doing more overtime then everything would be fine. The email also implies the threat of auditing of personal leave. The audit process of personal leave is meant to be for welfare purposes. But here we have an acting Exec member using it as a threat which could result in people turning up to work unwell for fear of being targeted with potential disciplinary action.
Furthermore, the email, while attacking paramedics, praises managers and first responders. The result being that the finger is clearly pointed at paramedics only as the source of the problem and the reason why AV cannot provide the service to the community.
The Gippsland Region has not only had to contend with COVID but was still feeling the effects of the 2019 fires when COVID started to impact. And then there is the under-resourcing of the region that had been a factor for many years. To dismiss all of these factors and blame paramedics for AV’s short comings is exactly the type of culture that needs to be stamped out.
In response to the email, we have written to Anthony Carlyon and Libby Murphy expressing our disappointment and frustration. In conversations with Anthony Carlyon it seems that there was some background to the email, however a generic email with such inflammatory statements and threats is not the best way to address any underlying issues re the use of personal leave.
AV BOARD RESPONDS TO LETTER
In line with our previous statements on VEOHRC’s findings about serious cultural issues affecting our members within Ambulance Victoria, we have consistently argued a major shake-up is necessary if there is to be any hope of transformational change.
That position was reflected in a letter we sent on March 25 calling into question the performance of the People & Culture section under its then leadership.
While we do not wish to comment on individuals, we received a response from the Board and in short, we’re not impressed. To act all high and mighty now after sitting back and doing nothing for so long is a bit rich given the harm that happened under the Board’s collective noses.
We will write back to the Board expressing our dissatisfaction with the response.
AV – RURAL IGNORED IN TIME IN MOTION STUDY
Recently AV announced that it would be conducting a time in motion study as part of a metro management restructure which is being overseen by RD Michael Georgiou. The study will focus on management roles from TM up to Area Manager and will include operational administrative support roles. Whilst the AEAV is supportive of the concept we have significant concerns around the decision to exclude rural from the study. AV have advised that the outcomes may be rolled out to rural.
Firstly, the roles of STM’s and TM’s in rural and metro are different. In rural these managers are required to be an operational resource most, if not all shifts. So, excluding them from the study and then implementing outcomes based on metro TM’s and STM’s is not good enough.
Secondly, again this sends the message to rural that metro is the priority and that things that work for metro will have to work for rural.
Rural should not be treated as the poor cousin of metro and staff need to have their opportunity to contribute to any potential recommendations that will affect them.
ESTA – DATA ACCESS DAY ONE
Staffing numbers, response times, call demand, and attrition rates. Ever wondered what ESTA 000’s data looks like? Us too! Wednesday was the first day Delegates and Union Officials had access to ESTA’s historical data to support our submission writing for the independent review into ESTA.
It was a big day of realising what we’ve always known: ESTA IS UNDERSTAFFED! There was also a lot of head scratching and deliberation when the group realised some of the data just wasn’t adding up… we now have a long list of requests and questions for ESTA. The work will continue over multiple data access days.
AV – FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONAL SERVICES
In September 2021 the AEAV were advised that AV had agreed to re-evaluate the pay classifications for FTS staff. FTS positions are paid in accordance with the opaque and outdated Mercer system. AV have agreed to an external review however no progress has been made in over 6 months. The FTS members have had enough of AV’s failure to address their concerns. FTS staff are invited to sign the petition calling on Libby Murphy to prioritise the review.
With the second half of the VEOHRC review into AV published and the resignation of the Executive of People and Culture, AEAV Members are demanding further change within the service. If you haven’t signed the petition yet, click HERE to support!
AV – FLEET MAINTENANCE OFFICERS GETTING IT DONE!
Check out this wrecked ambulance Fleet Maintenance Officer (FMO) David Berry from Bendigo sent us! Every day FMOs are managing the rural ambulance fleet, making sure AV ambulances are safely on the road to meet response times. It’s common for an FMO to be woken up in the middle of the night to respond to a bogged vehicle or damaged truck. In the next bargaining round FMOs will be fighting for a serious pay rise that’s long overdue. Stay tuned for more updates from the legendary fleet!
AMBULANCE ACTIVE – ANOTHER INDEPENDENT REVIEW, ANOTHER LINE IN THE SAND
Darren Law writes in the most recent Ambulance Active update:
I recently resigned as a paramedic after 28 years of full-time professional service. In those 28 years, every Australian state and territory ambulance service has had multiple independent reviews into service delivery and culture. Without exception, each of those reviews has found that respective service wanting in how they treat their staff.
One of the celebrities, who took the time to give heartfelt thanks to you all for the work you have done through COVID, won the Australian lightweight boxing title this week in awesome fashion. If you missed the support videos Harry Garside and others provided, you can relive them HERE(Harry), HERE(Julia Zemiro) andHERE(the great Kevin Sheedy!).
They are still as relevant today as they were then and a great reminder of the appreciation the community has for the job you do, day in day out.
JOKE OF THE DAY
Little Tommy asked his mother, “Mummy, how were people born?”
His mother tells him, “Adam and Eve made babies, then their babies became adults and made babies, and so on until I gave birth to you.”
Tommy then went to his father and asked him the same question. He told him, “Well, at one time we were very stupid cavemen and cavewomen. We were all hairy and ugly, and just sat around grunting and barking and clubbing each other. Back then, we just weren’t very smart. Then very slowly, we evolved to become like we are now.”
Tommy ran back to his mother and said, “You lied to me!”
His mother replied, “No, your dad was talking about his side of the family.”
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]