AV not learning lessons from COVID-19

AEAV have recently discussed with DHHS the attempt by Ambulance Victoria to avoid their obligations to convert casual Patient Transport (PT) staff to fulltime. We are in the process of arranging a meeting with the Health Minister to discuss further.

Firstly AV unnecessarily offered dodgy short-term fixed-term contracts to PT staff which broke their pattern of casual employment. Now they are looking to increase the casual PT pool by utilising ACO’s, which has the effect of reducing hours and consistency of work patterns.

AEAV has recently been informed that AV intend to increase the number of casual staff that can work in PT roles rather than offering fulltime employment to those qualified staff who are already filling PTO/ATA positions for up to 40 hrs per week. The unavoidable flow on effect will be that casual Patient Transport staff will lose hours.

The AEAV questions this latest approach on two grounds. Firstly, why the need to increase the pool of casuals who can fill PT shifts whilst stalling on offering fulltime employment for long term casuals already doing the role? And secondly, the use of a casual workforce where fulltime hours are readily available increases the risks to the staff and patients during a pandemic.

Premier Daniel Andrews stated on 26th July 2020 that “Insecure work is no good for public health in terms of dealing with a global pandemic.” Yet the public sector body at the frontline of the pandemic is currently proposing the utilisation of more casuals to fill non-emergency shifts.

Not only is this not in the spirit of the 2020 Enterprise Agreement but also increases the risks to AV staff and patients as a result of insecure work. Lessons learnt from this pandemic should be implemented by public sector organisations to set an example for the rest of the community. 

If you are a casual Patient Transport worker and believe your rights for conversion are being minimised, please contact the AEAV on 9287 1713 or at aea.vic@unitedworkers.org.au


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