Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

More industrial bans planned for paramedics

Echuca paramedics could join colleagues in more industrial bans.

IVY WISE August 11, 2014 3:39am

Echuca paramedics could take part in more industrial bans with Ambulance Victoria rejecting the union’s plea not to force employees to relocate and back-date wage increases.

Ambulance Employees Association has applied to the Fair Work Commission for further industrial bans, which is expected to be heard in the commission this week.

AEA secretary Steve McGhie said Ambulance Victoria had rejected the union’s response from July 25 on some unresolved issues.

‘‘They are demanding that we agree to allow them to compulsorily be able to move rural paramedics around the state filling vacancies at other branches that could be hundreds of kilometres away against the paramedics’ wishes,’’ he said.

‘‘Rural paramedics have made it clear they don’t wish for this to occur.’’

Echuca paramedic Ian Wines is one of them.

‘‘I’ve worked at the Echuca station for 35 years and now they’re telling me I have to spend a month in Horsham?’’ he said.

‘‘That is so unacceptable to myself and my family. It’s just so unrealistic.’’

Mr McGhie said AV also wanted all the union clauses removed from the enterprise bargaining agreement.

‘‘That will make it harder for paramedics to have union delegates represent them in workplace issues,’’ he said.

‘‘The other outstanding issue is the dates for the wage increases are still not agreed.’’

Mr Wines said it was completely unfair not to back-date wage increases.

‘‘When it’s been three years without a pay rise, you can’t settle for what we originally asked,’’ he said.

‘‘The effect has gone past the total period of what the EB should be and three-quarters of the next one.’’

Mr Wines said the government was making out that paramedics were thugs as the pay dispute reaches its 24th month.

‘‘It feels like a David and Goliath battle,’’ he said.

AV regional services general manager Tony Walker said paramedics and their colleagues deserved a meaningful and respectful wage increase.

‘‘We are disappointed that the union is pursuing further industrial action, particularly given the proposed bans include stoppages of work for between 15 minutes and one hour, which has the potential to put patients at risk,’’ he said.

‘‘AV will take all necessary action to ensure the continued safety and welfare of the Victorian community.

‘‘AV remains committed to completing a deal that provides a pay rise for paramedics as soon as possible.’’

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