AEAV Bulletin – 8 May 2023




8 May 2023

Ambulance Victoria



Due to the Easter break and school holidays, bargaining was put on hold. AV are still waiting on approval from the State Government before they are able to present their Log of Claims. This effectively means that AV are not permitted to negotiate or commit to anything that is likely to affect ongoing budgets. In other words, they not permitted to discuss anything that will cost money. Discussions thus far have been very preliminary and have been the areas of:

  • End of Shift Management – UWU’s claims of for end of shift warnings prior to end of shift to limit going into incidental overtime as well as the existing warnings when on incidental overtime.
  • New definitions of Hours Counts – this is to move the count method away from leave block to leave block and instead have it at the point of equalisation.
  • Casual/Permanent Part-time – discussions centred around making it easier to in and out of casual and part-time work and removing barriers that current exists providing more flexibility for members.
  • AP12 Allocation – preliminary discussions about making this process fairer and recognising that the current practices in some instances are not for purpose.
  • Rural Attraction and Retention – Discussions centred around creating a system of ‘term transfer’ in which existing staff QAPs could opt to transfer to identified hard to fill locations for a fixed term and retain their substantive spot on a roster at their substantive branch. Associated with this there would be a need to develop an incentive package. Extending this payment to existing rural paramedics is yet to be discussed.
  • Accessing SDOs – There has been acknowledgement from AV that accessing SDOs is difficult to facilitate in many instances and they understand that this is a source of conflict. Solutions involving better utilisation of part-time and FWA staff to fill vacancies to enable more staff to access SDOs was discussed.

The UWU stresses that NOTHING has been decided, agreed to, or rejected by any party at this stage of the negotiations. Discussions have been of a scoping and probing nature. As final positions are determined this will be communicated with members.


The Victorian Government has finally released its wages policy and public sector priorities. It is available to read on our website HERE. In short, the government is offering 3 %/year for the life of agreements and a further 0.5% productivity bonus. Obviously, the UWU’s position is this offer falls very short of our members’ expectations and needs given the current economic pressures on households.


Members have fed back to the UWU with mixed reactions to the introduction of the PBR rosters. It is apparent that members have transitioned from a 10/14 to the PBR blended roster are enjoying the change. Those already working a blended roster are not loving the double night shift component.


This lines up with the feedback provided to AV. In response we have been unofficially informed that changes have been made. In typical AV fashion those changes have not been made public. In short AV abhorrent style of consultation by announcement continues. AV’s aversion to consulting staff to understand all the issues before creating policy and procedure continues to provide a toxic workplace environment for our members.


To help ensure that we are representing all of members in this issue, the UWU would like to know from members:

  1. If you have been involved in a transition to a PBR blended roster, whether it has improved the facilitation of meals on time, finishing on time, and easing your levels of fatigue,
  2. If you are working a PBR blended roster, whether the second shift is problematic for you,
  3. If you are working the current single night shift blended roster, how you would feel working 1 x double night shift every four weeks (PBR blended)
  4. Your feelings about the 1400 – 0200 shift if you are or have worked it,
  5. Any other feedback about the PBR blended roster.

We need to get some more formal feedback so that we can negotiate a better outcome for all those involved.


Click on the link here to provide feedback.


The UWU Strategic Power team put together a report from the June 2022 Victorian Public Service’s ‘People Matter’ survey. Delegates who have seen the report are hardly surprised by Ambulance Victoria’s performance in relation to the overall VPS average.

For those wanting a snapshot:

34% of ambulance staff reported experiencing high to severe work-related stress in 2022. Concerningly, this cohort has grown among ambulance staff; from 28% in 2020.

Among underlying causes of this stress, ambulance staff reported notably higher incidences of the following factors than the broader VPS average:

  • Work schedule or hours;
  • Competing home and work responsibilities;
  • Management of work (e.g. supervision, training, information, support);
  • Work that doesn’t match my skills or experience;
  • Social environment (relationships with colleagues, managers, senior leaders);
  • Organisation or workplace change; and
  • Incivility, bullying, harassment, or discrimination.

Satisfaction with career development among ambulance staff has dropped, from 43% in 2020 to 34% in 2022. This is now almost half the level of satisfaction than at the best-performing comparator organisation (not named, but in the broader public health system).


Underlying such a result are findings such as just 17% of respondents believing they have an equal chance at promotion within Ambulance Victoria (compared to the 57% at the best-performing comparator organisation), and an even lower 11% believing the promotion processes are fair (again far lower than the 53% of respondents at the best-performing comparator).


For those looking for more: find the report HERE.


Some weeks ago, the UWU was made aware by a member of floored EOI processes resulting in ballot process for selection of an EOI position, and one instance of a person charge with doing the selection for another EOI to ‘pick who they want’ as there is no process, and this advice was further re-enforced by HR. When the UWU confronted AV with the evidence we had in the UWU/AV regular consultative forum in March the following answers were provide by AV.

  1. We see EOI processes as a quasi-recruitment process,
  2. AV does not have a policy or procedure around the EOI process,
  3. AV is not performing as Model Employer in this area, we are failing,
  4. We do not have enough staff in the recruitment hub to properly run EOI selection processes,
  5. We are unable to provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates (as is required in the public sector when requested) because we don’t have the staff,
  6. Our selection processes for EOIs are simplified due to lack of policy and an inability to run the appropriately,
  7. There are currently 130 EOI processes ongoing at AV.

The UWU contends that EOI process must be competitive to ensure the right candidate is selected. EOIs may be a process of putting a ‘bum on a seat’ for AV but for our members, it is an opportunity to professionally develop, gain experience, and expand the resume with view to future promotion. The EOI process IS a recruitment process and must be treated as such and given the same importance. The lack of process further embeds the toxic and unlawful “jobs for the boys” work culture that VEOHRC identified three years ago.



As AV is at a loss to improve this situation, the UWU will approach the VPS ombudsman in an effort to bring AV into line with Public Sector values and expectations for best practice recruitment.


It is with great sadness that the AEAV/UWU regrets to inform the membership that one of our members, Jake Berkley passed away in late April due to a short illness.


Jake was Ambulance Services Officer in the DM office at Tallyho Communications for Ambulance Victoria. He was 26.

AEAV/UWU members’ thoughts are with Jake’s sister Elly and mother, Robyn, and friends, and colleagues, at this difficult time.

A funeral will be held for Jake on 11 May 2023.


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As always, if you have any issues, questions or queries, get in touch by leaving a message on 9287 1713 or email [email protected]

And most importantly, please stay safe out there.

Your AEAV team

Authorised by Brett Adie

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