APA (NSW) Member Update
Friday 3 February 2017
APA (NSW) was in the IRC today in relation to a dispute filed on Monday regarding staggered rosters the NSW Ambulance (NSWA) wishes to implement shortly.
Although the Commissioner did not agree to put a stop to staggered rosters or recommend a status quo to be maintained whilst all issues and concerns were resolved, he recognised that this would be a ‘fundamental change’ to the working practices of paramedics, something that NSWA would not acknowledge. To address concerns of APA (NSW) members, the Commissioner asked that individuals firstly approach local management. Any items that cannot be satisfactory resolved are then to be brought to the attention of Senior Management within NSWA for resolution. NSWA will provide us with specific details of who this will be once determined.
During the hearing, APA (NSW) representative mentioned to the Commission that we also opposed the proposed 6 hours of training with no additional payment for many paramedics that the NSWA is trying to impose. The Commissioner was rightly taken back by this. After talking to APA (NSW) delegates, who explained the realities of front-line work and the fact that paramedics were already working beyond their rostered hours, the Commissioner made a recommendation that any orientation or training that is to be carried out by paramedics must be paid. This is a huge win and supports our argument that paramedics do not owe NSWA any hours for the past!
To avoid future disputes, the Commissioner also recommended that parties agree to vary the Operational Ambulance Officers (State) Award to allow for 12 hour 15 minute shifts. This is to come in place in or around April 2017. The Commissioner was not in a position to put in place any restrictions regarding the responding of paramedics to jobs, other than to comment that it should only be in rare occurrences that paramedics are not given the opportunity to complete all commencement of shift activities prior to being responded. APA (NSW) asked the IRC for the file to remain open so that we can seek further assistance should this recommendation not be followed by NSWA.
The recommendations allow paramedics to continue to discuss with NSWA the impact of staggered rosters with particular consideration for individuals’ concerns. The IRC agreed with APA (NSW) that due to the significant nature of changes there would need to be a review, and has already set aside 2 August 2017 to review the new rosters and its impacts.
APA (NSW) members were represented at the IRC by delegates who were instrumental in gaining this outcome, including some who attended after finishing night shifts. The Commission made specific mention of how helpful our delegates were in the proceedings. We sincerely thank our delegates for their efforts.
APA (NSW) Executive
Your Choice, Your Voice
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A printable copy of this update may be found here.