In an earlier post a contributor describer how a Victorian Ambulance manager used the guise of the “fitness for duty assessment” as a means of dealing with a troublesome and vocal unionist during a protracted dispute.
Well guess what, it would appear that ASNSW are using the same playbook.
In an industry with one of the highest suicide rates there is, where depression and anxiety are rife.
In a country where we are supposed to be trying to reduce the stigma of mental illness.
Where organisations such as Beyond Blue, SANE Australia and the Black Dog Institute are trying to get people to come forward and get help.
From the NSW ambulance union,
“We are disappointed to announce that this bullying and intimidating culture appears to be more widespread than we suspected.
An active and vocal member has been sent home from work, against her will, on her own sick leave as ‘unfit for work’ for medical (emotional well being) reason. This decision was made by managers, i.e. not a Dr. She was instructed to go home until an independent medical opinion could be given.
The ADHSU does not question the employer’s right or responsibility to ensure that all staff are safe and well to attend work.
But our member (who has continuously maintained her fitness to work) then went to a doctor and was given a clearance to return to work as fit and well.
This was not good enough for the Service and the management has ordered her to stay off work, using her own sick leave, until she is reviewed by a doctor that NSWA choose.
The date they have given her for this appointment is 30 days away! !!!
That is right…they are ordering her to use her sick leave for 30 days..no shift penalties, no overtime opportunity, no chance to continue her CTP progression…All on the instruction of a manager, while she has a medical certificate stating that she is fit for all duties.
This paramedic is the primary wage earner for her family and this is impacting her family both emotionally and financially.
The ADHSU is supporting our member with all our available resources but enough is enough..we need the strength and support of all operational paramedics to stop ridiculous behaviour like this.”
It seems that ambulance managers are trying to use mental health as an industrial weapon.
Any wonder why a paramedic would be reluctant to stick their heads up!