Preference Lists under threat

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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