This year Victorian Paramedics will enter into enterprise bargaining with Ambulance Victoria and the Victorian Government. What do we want from this Enterprise Agreement (EA)? A fair outcome that takes our high skills and capabilities into account, skills that make us the best performing ambo’s in Australia.

Victorian paramedics are seeking to have their pay brought up to the level of the other states, we don’t expect to exceed them just to match them. In some cases, the Victorian paramedics are paid up to $25,000 per year behind states that we vastly outperform where it counts, saving lives.

The government will offer a miniscule increase in pay and expect us to deliver productivity increases to fix the problems caused by long-term underfunding and under-resourcing. They expect paramedics to repair the damage to the service.

We can’t fix the fact that every night dozens of our ambulances are ramped up at hospitals.

We can’t fix the fact that a Melbourne crew was recently the nearest crew to a case in Echuca.

We can’t stop 150-200 paramedics leaving each year to go to the other states who pay ambo’s fair wages.

We can’t stop Ambulance Victoria from having 20 shifts un-staffed on a single night.

We can’t stop hundreds of paramedics from being injured at work, in some cases needing surgery and extended time off duty.

We will do what we always do, we will continue to deliver the highest standards of patient care in Australia. We will continue to deliver the best cardiac arrest survival rate in Australia. We will continue to deliver the best quality patient care to Victorians.

However the government needs to realise that it is unfair to expect us to repair the damage done by consistent neglect and underfunding. The public need to realise that if they call an ambulance and they don’t get one, poor wages and working conditions are a major part of the problem.

Fact: Victorian Paramedics are paid significantly less than paramedics in ALL other states in Australia, in some cases up to $25,000 worse off.

Fact: Victorian Paramedics are the highest performing in the key area of cardiac survival on both numbers and percentage. We save more lives than anyone else does.

All we want is a fair-go.