TZV Bargaining Update

UWU, in alliance with CWU, UFU, and VAU, is nearing an in-principle agreement.

All parties understand that reaching an agreement sooner will result in pay increases for members. However, delegates from the four unions have voiced concern that Triple Zero is falling short in terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) penalties. Therefore, an in-principle agreement cannot be reached until the employer agrees to reinstate these penalties.

The MoU was formed with the organization in late 2021 after ESTA acknowledged that staffing levels were too low to meet unprecedented levels of sustained demand. This, in turn, had placed significant stress on staff.

The agreed terms of the MoU were established to encourage recruitment, increase shift allowances and penalties to better compensate staff for working unsociable hours, and increase mentor allowances to recognize those providing continual guidance and support to incoming staff.

These penalties are a necessary cost of running the business. They ensure that people show up to work.” – Sharyne Doensen (Tally-HO delegate)

The MoU penalties/payments commenced in 2022 after the Unions demanded:

  • $7 per hour for mentors
  • 200% overtime
  • 250% overtime for hard-to-fill shifts
  • Pay at 6pm Saturday until 7am Sunday and 6pm Sunday until 7am Monday
  • $20 payment for two interrupted breaks per shift.

It’s important to note that while these payments arose during the pandemic, it was not the pandemic itself that prompted the government’s intervention and increased funding, but rather the several deaths resulting from calls waiting and understaffing.

Paragraph within Memorandum of Understanding:

ESTA acknowledges that the Unions and their members have, for an extended period, called for ESTA to employ additional permanent operational staff members. ESTA recognizes that during the pandemic hiring has not kept pace with demand for its services and that staffing levels have contributed to the pressure currently being felt by its operational workforce. 

While TZV management might argue that the pandemic is long over and therefore the penalties are no longer required, members know that understaffing levels have been a longstanding issue and that the MoU penalties helped alleviate this problem by ensuring that members could keep up with the cost of living.

Now that the penalties have ceased, how is Triple Zero faring with understaffing? In the last UCC report in February 2024, attrition data was provided for the three services. A staggering 36.1% of Ambulance Call takers left the organization in the last 12 months, highlighting that the problem remains.

The delegates want to ensure that this new agreement addresses these issues to ensure that TZV can attract and retain great staff to provide the very best service to the community. That’s why they have put in the work to ensure that TZV’s policies around training, mentoring, multiskilling, and leave are supportive, encouraging, and watertight.

It’s now time for TZV to play their part and agree to the MoU penalties.


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