The release of the VEOHRC review into AV was hoped to be a watershed moment. What we have seen though is a lot of words and promises and very little action. Some of the commentary surrounding the release has been quite concerning. It was very surprising to see that AV have been congratulated for asking VEOHRC to conduct an independent review. AV were caught red handed and they had no option but to engage VEOHRC. They ignored the signs for years and only sought external assistance when it hit the front page of The Age.
Then we heard that it will be different this time because AV now understands the drivers behind the cultural issues. Which driver out of power imbalances, retribution, focus on performance, gaps in management capability, endorsement issues and work-related risk factors did they not know about? People had reported all of this to the highest levels and the data had backed them up and yet nothing changed.
We also heard that those at the top levels who failed to address the issues now need to be the ones who are the heroes for change, and this is in some way justice for their failure to protect staff. So, they get to keep their resumes intact and their executive remuneration packages whilst others’ lives and careers have been destroyed.
And finally, we heard that this was a review, not an investigation into individuals. The review however showed that departments within AV have fundamentally failed staff. How is it that those who were responsible for those departments are not held accountable for the harm done? They may not have been found to harm specific individuals but surely as executives they are accountable for allowing harm on a global scale across the organisation.
This was an opportunity for the AV Board and/or the government to make a definitive statement of support and acknowledgement for impacted staff, but instead we got hollow words which we have all heard way too many times before.
HOLD AV EXECUTIVES ACCOUNTABLE: SIGN THE PETITION
It appears that only pressure from AV staff and the community will result in the AV Board and/or the government making the tough decisions that are necessary to give the VEOHRC review any hope of implementing the transformational change that is essential.
Sign our petitionHEREand help us put pressure on those that can enact real change.
ESTA’S PANDEMIC RESPONSE
ESTA has continued to consult the AEAV on their Planned Pandemic Demand Response Initiative and has put pressure on the union to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
ESTA’s proposal includes an increase in shift penalties and additional non-standard rosters. ESTA has communicated that they would like “flexibility” to direct staff at short notice onto these rosters.
Union Delegates and Officials are working hard to ensure that ESTA staff are not worse off under the arrangements, but we need your help.
Join the union’s Facebook group HERE to find out more.
ESTA CHOOSE STAFF FOR INDEPENDENT REVIEW CONSULTATION
Mr Ashton’s review into ESTA’s capabilities is underway and 90 ESTA staff were consulted yesterday (Thursday December 9) via an online meeting. The union wrote to PwC to enquire how the 90 staff were selected, to which PwC responded that ESTA had selected the staff themselves. In the spirit of ensuring that the review produces a balanced approach, the union has informed PwC that there are members who would like to contribute.
If you would like to have the opportunity to confidentially speak to PwC, contact Organiser Lauren Stanley on 0425 755 903. Read more HERE.
UNION WIN – AV TM/STM RECRUITMENT
Last week aspiring TMs at AV were required to sit a clinical exam. Members raised concerns about some of the questions included in the exam, and their belief that they were well beyond the scope of the position. An additional concern was the threat that anyone who failed would be put on an education plan. Once the union opened the door on the topic, the complaints started to pour in.
In recent days, AEAV has spoken with AV about the process and members concerns. The end result has been that AV have withdrawn the clinical exam from the process and as of yesterday, have delayed recruitment til 2022 for TMs, STMs and PCSCs. In addition, the email that applicants received yesterday appears to indicate that AV have finally acknowledged that clinical is not the main responsibility for these managers. AEAV has been writing to AV about recruitment since late 2019 and it is only in the last few days that we have seen any acknowledgment of the harm caused.
AV RECRUITMENT REVIEW PROCESS
A few weeks ago in the eBulletin we detailed a matter where we were supporting a member with a grievance about internal recruitment. As a follow up to the individual matter, on 26 November we wrote to AV CEO Tony Walker requesting that a review process be immediately established to satisfy AV’s obligations as a public sector body. This obligation has been in legislation since 2004 but unfortunately we have only ever been told that the option was a grievance or to write to the CEO. The grievance process is not fit for purpose and if AV refuses to budge on the development of a specific process, we will take the matter to the VPSC. You can read our letter to Tony Walker HERE.
AV – ENTITLEMENT TO 10-HR BREAK – SPARES
In October we wrote to AV after a rural member had been told they were not entitled to a 10 hour break when spare and in between nightshifts. Late last week we received a response from AV and immediately set about preparing a grievance on behalf of all rural members who work spare. You can read the response from AV and the grievance we submitted HERE.
In short, we believe the response from AV represents a change in process and is a breach of clause 51.2(a) of the AVEA 2020 (Operational) which affords the entitlement to 10 hour break. AV are attempting to use the Work Instruction definition attributable to on-call crews to justify their refusal to restart breaks that have been interrupted.
The AEAV has provided some high level recommendations to the Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas, for the 2022-23 budget. You can read a summary and access the full submission HERE.
AMBULANCE ACTIVE – SUMMER EDITION
To access the latest version of Ambulance Active and find out what is going on in ambulance around the country click HERE.
INCOME PROTECTION INSURANCE
Income Protection (IP) covers members when they cannot work due to illness or injury contracted or occurred outside of working hours.
Primarily members take out IP for peace of mind in case they unexpectedly fall ill or injure themselves. More recently, the union has seen an increase in members applying for IP during the pandemic to ensure financial protection from complications that could arise from contracting Covid-19.
The scheme that AEAV has negotiated compares favourably with all other schemes for ambulance workers, and with some additional benefits.