Like here in Victoria, Tasmanian paramedics sought a work value case for the increase in skills that has occurred over many years and only seems to accelerate.
Theirs has actually happened, and the independent umpire awarded them an over 14% pay rise as a result of the increasing demands of their jobs.
However the Liberal Premier of Tasmania Mr Will Hodgeman, and his Health Minister Michael Ferguson don’t approve of the courts decision, of the independent umpires decision, so they choose to tie the case up in the courts.
No, not arguing the merits of the case, they wouldn’t have the ticker to go there.
No instead of paying paramedics what the courts have said are a fair days pay they prefer to pay god knows how much to lawyers to tie the case up in court on legal technicalities.
Disgraceful, the only winners here are the bloody lawyers, not paramedics and certainly not the people of Tasmania!
Background to the Paramedic Work Value case,
Tasmanian Paramedics are still amongst the lowest paid Paramedics in the country.
Western Australia, South Australia and the ACT have all recognised the value in the changing roles that Paramedics perform. Queensland and Victorian Paramedics are conducting Work Value cases too.
In January 2013 the Health and Community Services Union (HACSU) lodged an application with the Tasmanian Industrial Commission (TIC) seeking professional recognition for Ambulance Paramedics as part of a reassessment of the value of their work.
The last assessment of the work value of Paramedics had been in 1989. They won their case, but have still not received one cent of additional wages.
The job Ambulance Paramedics do today is much more complex than it was 26 years ago. Paramedics require more education, greater knowledge, improved clinical skills and take on much more responsibility. The role has transformed markedly since 1989 from simple first aid and transport. Paramedics now provide significant first intervention clinical care.
A work value case often results in extra money, but it is not simply a pay claim; it does not need to fit into a government wages policy or an artificial wage cap.
A work value case evaluates the nature of the work currently performed, it examines the level of skill or responsibility involved in the work and looks at the conditions under which it is performed.
HACSU Paramedics took this Wage Value claim to the Industrial Commission as the employer, The State Government, refused to set aside its wages capping policy for public servants. The Government would not place any value in the changes to work practices, despite years and years of advancements in the roles, new technology and new qualifications required to be a Paramedic.
To become a Paramedic you now need a Bachelor of Paramedic Science from university.
The Government so far has spent over $1M in its opposition to the work value claim. Despite this, the Industrial Commission agreed with the position that the work had changed significantly since 1989, and awarded Paramedics a 14.1% wages adjustment.
The Government has appealed this determination on a small technical legal argument; they have not appealed the merits of the case. The Decision was made in April 2014 and yet not one cent has flowed to the Paramedics, we don’t think this is fair.