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.

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.

The relevant clauses of the 2020 AV Enterprise Agreement are:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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