In response to recent pressure regarding draconian reserve provisions in their proposed Enterprise Agreement, Ambulance Victoria(AV) today released a reassuring memo to their staff as there must be some unrest regarding it.
In this memo they reassure their staff that the current information that is circulating and is inaccurate, they say that the state wide relievers will be volunteers and paramedics will only be required to perform the lowest level of reserve which would not require statewide travel.
But what are these reassurances worth?
Firstly there are no such protections in thier document, in fact there are no limitations to travel, just that if a paramedic is required to travel greater than an hour they will pay overtime at the incidental rate. It does go on to specifically state that this travel time will not count towards rest breaks (a vital OH&S issue), and that they will do as much as they deem reasonable to limit this.
Unfortunately in my experience this is not very reassuring.
Further to this, these limited protections are only available to one level of reserve paramedic. The other two levels without such protections, but that’s OK they say, anyone on these levels will have to volunteer.
But, like with most contracts you really need to read the fine print.
Because if you do you will find that if no one volunteers for the positions they can require staff to perform these roles.
So if they wish to get around any protections, no matter how minor, all they will need to do is say they haven’t got enough staff and off you go to west possum claw, with absolutely no say.
Remember this is an employer that in the past has argued that taking patients to hospital endangers the public.
And more recently has argued that the Victorian public has no right to know their local ambulance response times as ” it may cause public controversy”.
And so it bloody should!