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AEAV
AEAV
AEAV
AEAV
AEAV

Ambulance Employees Australia - Victoria (AEAV)

All Updates

Financial Services Redesign - Update

The biggest questions coming out of the Financial Services Redesign are about...

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AV Psychosocial Survey results - 2019

A strong focus of AV’s response to the media when questioned about...

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VEOHRC Review Update

Nearly 2000 people have filled in VEOHRC surveys outlining their experiences with...

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Explainer Ketamine Video

Check out our handy explainer video about the risks of occupational exposure...

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ESTA Manual Operations

ESTA had scheduled a CAD upgrade, that requires reverting to manual operations,...

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OHS forms for Ketamine Exposure

It’s important to protect yourself in the event of occupational exposure, so...

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What will improve Ambulance Victoria culture?

Ambulance Victoria employees have been sharing pictures on social media to highlight...

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Vaccine Rollout

Since news of the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccines, representatives of...

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Bullying and Harassment Survey Results

In November 2020, the AEAV commenced a survey of Ambulance Victoria staff...

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ESTA Staffing Review Update

The AEAV has been at ESTA sites Tally Ho and BalSECC to...

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AV delays Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) protection

It seems AV are delaying the introduction of protections for members using...

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Financial Transactional Services Review

Ambulance Victoria are currently consulting with staff around the redesign of Financial...

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FWA Changes Are Not The Full Picture

AEAV has been in consultation with AV regarding a proposed change to...

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Ketamine Incidents

Environmental/occupational exposure to Ketamine happens and the consequences can be catastrophic if...

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COVID Vaccinations

Since news of the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccines, representatives of...

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ESTA Staffing Review Update

The AEAV has been at ESTA sites Tally Ho and BalSECC to discuss the staffing review with members and get feedback on our proposed recommendations.  

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The Staffing Review process has been delayed as a result of ESTA not providing data in a timely manner.  The delay provides us with the opportunity to add additional recommendations to our submission.

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As a result of feedback and some more suggestions from members, we have amended some recommendations and added some others. These are available HERE.  

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The amended timetable for the staffing review is:

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  1. Deadline for submissions 23 April 2021.
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  3. Deadline for response to submissions 30 April 2021.
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  5. Meeting to consider submissions and questions from chair Tuesday 4 May
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  7. Meeting to discuss responses and initial views from chair 18 May
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  9. Meeting to discuss further views 25 May
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  11. Submission from chair to CEO early June 2021.
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If you have feedback about the recommendations or questions about the review, please contact the AEAV office at 03 9287 1713 or [email protected]

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FWA changes are not the full picture

AEAV has been in consultation with AV regarding a proposed change to the wording of rural ‘spare’ FWA contracts. AEAV has informed AV that we cannot and will not endorse the proposed amendments as the AEAV does not believe the contract should be ‘buttered up’ to make it look better than it actually is.

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The proposal is to remove wording which was causing concern amongst staff. The AEAV does not support the removal because the new FWA template does not accurately reflect the conditions on which a rural paramedic can have their roster changed without mutual agreement. AV has confirmed that Clauses 37 and 43 of the 2020 EA will remain the overriding principles and the exclusion of the disputed clauses is for cosmetic reasons only.

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The relevant clauses of the 2020 AV Enterprise Agreement are:

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37.1 Resources will be allocated to meet service demand. Employees will be required to perform all work they are competent to perform and accept the requirement for flexibility in relation to work arrangements and mobility between work locations to meet the Employer’s operational and service delivery requirements.

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43.2 The Employer can change a roster on 28 days’ notice to the affected employees or a lesser period by agreement with the employee or in the case of an unforeseen or urgent circumstance.

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43.3 The Employer can change start and finish times, without agreement subject to 28 days’ notice to the affected employees and consultation so employees have the opportunity to raise issues with their personal and family circumstances.

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Removing this wording from the FWA contract has no effect on the right of AV to change your roster times and location as specified above. The EA is the underpinning rules of your employment and will remain so. Although the incidence is rare, it is still a right that AV has, irrespective of the wording in the FWA. Members can still lodge a grievance if the change does not suit personal and family circumstances.

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The AEAV believes that members should be fully informed and AV should not succumb to pressure from external parties to incorrectly inform staff that the only time your roster can be changed is by mutual agreement. This is simply not the case and as your Union it is our responsibility to ensure that you are informed.

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The advice from AV is that after considerable pressure they are going to amend the FWA template anyway, despite their initial intention to ensure that staff are fully informed.

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This highlights the issues around rural ‘spares’ which have been ignored for 10 years. The AEAV has ensured that the rules around rural ‘spare’ will be addressed over the next 12 months. To have your say on the rural ‘spare’ issue contact us at [email protected] or call us on 9287 1713.

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Covid Vaccinations

Since news of the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccines, representatives of the United Workers Union have been in regular contact with Federal, State and Territory governments to ensure our front-line members, like those working in Ambulance, are part of the dialogue.  As the AEAV is part of one of the biggest union’s in the country and is the biggest union for ambulance employees your voice is heard on this issue. 

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At an initial meeting with the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt on 13 January 2021, UWU, along with the Australian Nurses and Midwifery Federation and other health unions identified many questions about the approval process, the efficacy of the vaccine, and of the roll out that AEAV members require answers to.

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Since then, your union has had a detailed technical briefing with the Chief Medical Officer at a federal level and continuing to be involved in discussions with Department of Health officials in each state and territory as the roll out commenced this week.

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Some of the information regarding this is available on the UWU website. https://www.unitedworkers.org.au/vaccine/.  The landscape is changing day to day and any updates will be provided via this link.

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You will see that there are references to “ambulance subgroups” being part of group 1a.  While where possible all Ambulance employees will be part of group 1a, priority is being given to those who work in the areas responsible for responding to hotel quarantine or international border entry as these have been identified as high-risk areas.  

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The roll out of the vaccine is being managed by the Federal Government and state Departments of Health are working to operationalise this happening.  Ambulance services are part of this picture but are not in control of dictating the priority areas.

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The limitations around transporting the Pfizer vaccine also pose logistical issues for Ambulance members in more remote areas of Australia.  These issues are being worked through with each state jurisdictional service.

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All ambulance staff should be prepared that while there are no mandatory directives around the vaccine in the broader community, PPE will continue to be part of business as usual. 

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If you have specific questions which are unable to be answered from the information contained at https://www.unitedworkers.org.au/vaccine/ please don’t hesitate to contact the AEAV office at 03 9287 1713 or [email protected]

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Ketamine Incidents

Environmental/occupational exposure to Ketamine happens and the consequences can be catastrophic if you work for Ambulance Victoria. The smallest detected amount in your system can severely damage your career and your mental health.

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AV have made no effort to this point to understand how occupational exposure occurs, however they have been very quick to deem everyone with a non-negative test result guilty of using Ketamine. This is a risk to your health and safety and AV have a responsibility to mitigate that risk.

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Ambulance Victoria’s zero-tolerance drug policy has resulted in Paramedics being stood down for extended months at a time, pending a half-baked investigation. The levels detected are generally below internationally acceptable levels and are indicative of occupational exposure, not ingestion. 

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Given that the source of the miniscule test results has not been identified by AV we are encouraging staff to take action to protect themselves. In any situation where you are in contact with an open ampoule or vial of Ketamine you should complete the following steps:

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  1. Document the exposure via an incident report (estimated completion time less than 5 minutes) 
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  3. If a colleague is present, record them as a witness
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  5. Contact the Union to discuss any other steps you may need to take
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We also encourage you to download our ketamine poster with a QR code to a shortened online incident report form, and put it up in your branch so you have quick and easy access. 

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Workplace Behaviours Survey For Worksafe

WorkSafe are currently reviewing Workplace Behaviours training at Ambulance Victoria. The AEAV...

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Workplace Behaviours Survey for WorkSafe

WorkSafe are currently reviewing Workplace Behaviours training at Ambulance Victoria. The AEAV conducted a survey to gather information in support of the review. 

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The key takeaways are –

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  • Training is usually provided by someone without qualifications in the area
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  • Training is rarely offered as a refresher. Most people can’t remember when they last did it, a lot of people can’t remember whether they did it at all
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  • Training has not resulted in any observable improvements in workplace behaviours
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  • Training is rarely provided to managers about their obligations around managing workplace behaviours or in how they treat staff, when it is provided it is limited training (such as a handbook)
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The results from the survey are below. 

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ESTA Staffing Review Recommendations

The AEAV Staffing Review recommendations are downloadable for review and feedback. These...

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Health Worker Immunisation Roll-Out

We have been meeting at both a National and State level with...

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Health Worker Immunisation Roll-out


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We have been meeting at both a National and State level with relevant minsters and advisors to get information on the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccinations. Meetings are ongoing so if you have queries, please let us know. At this stage we have been advised that Health Workers have been split into two categories for access to the vaccination. The majority of operational staff will be classified as category 1a, meaning they will get first access to the Pfizer vaccination.

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Staff will be further prioritized to ensure that frontline workers at risk of encountering Covid-19 through direct patient care will be prioritised, meaning that both Paramedics and Patient Transport Officers are scheduled to have access to the vaccine in its first stage.

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Category 1a is estimated to be completed in approximately 3 weeks (provided sufficient vaccines are available), with 6 regional vaccination hubs to be set up across the state, and vaccinations will be provided at several hospitals in Melbourne.

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The speed of immunization depends on numbers of vaccinations available and on people available to administer the vaccine, at this point Victoria are looking to upskill additional RN’s and medication qualified EN’s, Paramedics and some latter year students to assist. The vaccinations will not be considered mandatory for health workers, despite requirements in the Ambulance Act.

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If you have queries about the process for Covid-19 vaccinations, please contact the AEAV office on 03 9287 1713.

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ESTA Staffing Review Recommendations

The AEAV Staffing Review recommendations are downloadable for review and feedback. 

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These recommendations have been developed through conducting surveys of members and through listening to individual experiences. The submission aims to cover the concerns raised by operations staff about lack of staff, lack of access to leave, issues with ongoing training and career progression. 

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Final dates for submission to the review are not yet available, and we look forward to making our final submission to the review. 

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AEAV – ESTA STAFFING REVIEW RECOMMENDATIONS

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Delegate Training and Planning

A group of AEAV Delegates from Ambulance Victoria and ESTA gathered at the end of January to complete some training in Bullying and Harassment through OHS and representing members in the workplace.

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Preference Lists under threat

Ambulance Victoria have unilaterally and inconsistently decided to change the rules regarding the use of Preference Lists.

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The AEAV have lodged a dispute with the Fair Work Commission about Ambulance Victoria not following policy and procedure around the filling of positions at on-call branches.

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AV currently fills non-call and on-call branches using a preference list. An existing policy applies and the current process has existed for more than a decade. Through the course of 2020 two positions at the Mirboo North branch became vacant, and were to be filled through preference lists. Ambulance Victoria have recently decided to unilaterally change the process they are using to an Expression of Interest which is open to all paramedics, with no consultation or discussion with workers.

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Ignoring the preference list allows for a “captains pick”. This opens the door for actual or perceived nepotism. Preference lists exist to minimise the risk of bias. If VEOHRC are looking for examples of workplace practices that contribute to discrimination, this seems a clear one.

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Under the Ambulance Victoria Enterprise Agreement 2020, AV are obliged to consult with employees about changes to existing work practices and give prompt consideration to matters raised by employees or employee representatives.

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To date AV have been dismissive of members concerns and are ploughing on with little regard for the impact on paramedics who have spent years waiting on a list to get to their preferred branch. AEAV are proposing that consultation be undertaken before any change is implemented and that in the meantime the relevant procedure is followed. We look forward to speaking with Ambulance Victoria in the Fair Work Commission and hope to come to an agreement that ensures that employees get a voice in any change that impacts them.

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If you are concerned about how this will impact you please let us know at [email protected] or call us on 9287 1713.

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VEOHRC Information Sessions

VEOHRC have recently run information sessions for the AEAV and members, providing information about the review. They have outlined the scope of the review and how bullying fits within this. Bullying can be considered either discriminatory or can be a factor contributing to discrimination, sexual harassment or victimisation in the workplace. 

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There is a clear recognition of the importance of confidentiality for participants making submissions, and a number of avenues to support submission making have been provided. Submissions are unable to be delivered anonymously, however approval will be sought or stories will be de-identified if they are mentioned in the final report. 

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Supporting documentation for the sessions, and our FAQ information sheet is below – 

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Casual Conversion

Congratulations to AEAV Patient Transport members Nigel and Leanne, who were the first recipients of casual conversion to permanent positions with Ambulance Victoria.

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Leanne and Nigel - PTO's gaining casual conversion

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FOI Request Bullying and Harassment

On 10 November 2020, the AEAV wrote to the Professional Conduct Unit requesting information and statistics about their handling of discrimination and bullying complaints.

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This information included questions like ‘How many sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying complaints received by the PCU were referred back to the regions for regional management to deal with?’

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Unsurprisingly, the PCU never responded or even acknowledged our request.

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On Wednesday, the AEAV lodged a freedom of information request with the PCU to get this information from them legally. We believe that Ambulance Victoria employees have a right to this information as it directly relates to your complaints and how they are handled.  

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What are they hiding?

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Download our Freedom of Information Request here.

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ESTA CAD Upgrade

The upgrade of the CAD 9.4 system has seen many challenges that staff are facing. We’ve heard multiple stories of crashes, glitches and problems, and heard that communication about these matters has been limited. The recent UCC saw a lot of discussion about the issues with implementation, and the AEAV put forward a number of proposals to support staff. 

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We have written to ESTA to confirm our proposals and ask for support for the mental health of staff during this upgrade. Our correspondence, and their response is below. 

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Clean Up AV Update

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) have released the Terms of Reference for their review into Ambulance Victoria (below). A number of members have expressed their concern about the fact that bullying is not listed in the ToR, which includes – 

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“The nature, extent, drivers and impact of discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation experienced by current and former staff and volunteers”

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Under the Equal Opportunity Act, the VEOHRC does not have coverage of bullying, except where it relates to another one of their matters (discrimination, sexual harassment etc).

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The majority of the bullying cases that we have dealt with at the AEAV could also be viewed as bullying as a result of discrimination, whether because the person being bullied is young, old, female, male, has raised an issue in their workplace or so on. Most of these categories may be a relevant factor in whether or not the case could be dealt with under the Equal Opportunity Act. 

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The scope of the review is much broader than a specific complaint with VEOHRC. Because it considers the drivers and impact of discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation, most bullying at AEAV will be considered as a part of the review. 

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As always, every individual case is different, and we suggest you speak to us for advice and options about your individual matter.  

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Ketamine Alert

The introduction of IN Ketamine for pain relief puts all AV paramedics at risk of exposure. Ambulance Victoria does not recognise the potential for accidental environmental exposure to ketamine, and has disciplined paramedics as a result.

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We ask all staff to protect themselves and become educated about the dangers of environmental exposure to ketamine and support our campaign for change. The resumption of drug testing means paramedics are at risk and the consequences are severe and potentially career ending.

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What can you do?
 Please display the poster and letter in the workplace
 Please talk to colleagues about this issue
 Please ask colleagues to sign the petition to support the AEAV’s suggestions for control measures

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Clean Up AV!

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nThe Clean Up AV Campaign aims to deal with bullying and sexual harassment, discrimination, cronyism and low staff morale. We want to ensure that interpersonal claims at AV are investigated quickly, using an external investigator that is agreed by the parties, that rationale and decisions are provided to the subjects of the complaint, and that there are support mechanisms in place to assist staff when putting in complaints.

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Bullying Resources

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is conducting an investigation into Bullying, Sexual Harassment and Discrimination and there is an investigation into Bullying by WorkSafe. Members may also have access to claims in other jurisdictions such as IBAC or the Fair Work Commission.  

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In order to ensure that your submission is as effective as possible, we advise that you should seek support in drafting and preparing your submission. The AEAV is available to support members in preparing their submissions, and also in preparing for and dealing with other avenues such as WorkSafe or IBAC. You can book a consultation with one of our Industrial Officers on 03 9287 1713, or by emailing [email protected]

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We also have a number of supporting resources for download available below.

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BULLYING FACT SHEET

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BULLYING DIARY 

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PREPARING A SUBMISSION GUIDE

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ONLINE AEAV INCIDENT REPORT 

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AV’s Graduate Recruitment leaves candidates in limbo

Recently AV has been contacted by a number of individuals who are undergoing AV’s Graduate Recruitment process. We have heard distressing stories of months and years of waiting for responses and of some people just giving up and choosing to pursue another career rather than work for AV.

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The effect on individual’s mental health is a blight on AV. For a public sector health organisation to treat individuals with such contempt is very disappointing. Students have worked very hard to get to a position where they can apply and have then gone through an intensive recruitment program only to be left hanging.

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AEAV wrote to AV expressing members concerns. A copy of the letter can be seen here. AV has responded via email and the response is below:

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  • There is currently no backlog in responding to general enquiries sent to the GAPRecruitment email address.  Some matters are more complex and, on these occasions, candidates are updated to this effect.
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  • Applicants are advised by email when they are placed on the Order of Merit.
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  • Candidates are required to have current documentation (less than 6 months old) when applying, as stated on AV’s website.  Where the candidate has not been successful in obtaining a GAP offer and their application is still open, there is a requirement to submit a new police check and driving history check if these are more than 12 months old. Candidates will be notified when further documentation is required.
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  • A candidate is not a successful applicant until they are made a Graduate Ambulance Paramedic offer.  Candidates who have completed all the steps necessary to be eligible for the Order of Merit will be notified when they are moved onto the Order of Merit. Please note that a candidate who is on the Order of Merit is not guaranteed an offer of employment by Ambulance Victoria.  All candidates are advised of this at Assessment Centre.
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The AEAV believes that this still leaves a number of applicants with unanswered questions. If you have completed the assessment criteria successfully and are still waiting to find out whether you are on the Order of Merit please contact us at [email protected] and let us know what your current status is and we can discuss with you options to have your application processed efficiently.

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Bullying and Harassment Survey

Ambulance Victoria has engaged the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) to investigate allegations of sex discrimination and bullying within AV. 

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We are surveying all staff at Ambulance Victoria to support our submission to change the investigation process at AV – too many complaints have not been properly investigated, and we need to make sure this does not keep happening.

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The survey is available HERE

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We know that the cultural problems at AV are much broader than just sexual harassment, and have already written to VEOHRC to demand the expansion of their investigation in to the toxic management culture at AV.

Any information you supply today will not be shared unless it is totally un-identifiable. None of these questions are mandatory, you can skip any that make you uncomfortable.

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Please call us on 9287 1713 if you would like to be supported in making a submission to the VEOHRC.

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Andrews government must bring Ambulance Victoria into line over paramedic suffering

Ambulance Victoria’s focus on cutbacks and so called ‘KPIs’ at all costs...

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AV Handling of Complaints

The Ambulance Employees Australia – Victoria (AEAV) have requested information and statistics regarding the Ambulance Victoria Professional Conduct Unit (PCU) and their handling of bullying and harassment matters. 

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A copy of our correspondence is below, and we will be following up with a FOI request if we don’t receive a satisfactory outcome. 

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Union calls for immediate action by Ambulance Victoria to protect staff

Prompted by revelations of workplace discrimination and harassment within its ranks, Ambulance...

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Spares Working Group

In the 2020 EA the AEAV fought for and won a commitment...

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No Paramedic should be targeted for protecting themselves

Paramedic Rob Paton received a registration restriction after defending himself against an...

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Ambulance Victoria Agreement: Action on fair pay, safety and exposure to drugs

Ambulance Victoria Agreement: Action on fair pay, safety and exposure to drugs...

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