Time for union to accept ambulance deal

Statements made this week by the ambulance union have for the first time outlined in detail its position on what would be required to settle enterprise bargaining negotiations for paramedics, Minister for Health David Davis said today.

Ambulance Victoria remains committed to the settlement offer made in July which is:

  • A sign-on payment of $3,000 for full-time employees (pro rata for part-time/new employees) payable on approval of the new Agreement by the Fair Work Commission (FWC);
  • An immediate six per cent wage increase payable on approval of the new Agreement by the FWC and back dated to the date of in-principle agreement;
  • An increase of three per cent in July 2015 and a further three per cent in July 2016;

Consent arbitration of the Work Value claim for paramedics at the FWC.

In public comments, Ambulance Employees Association Victoria secretary Steve McGhie said an offer by the Opposition, which is largely parallel with the existing Ambulance Victoria offer, would pave the way for a deal.

Ambulance Victoria has today delivered to the ambulance union a revised offer, and will no longer press for union agreement to a rural relieving proposal, and will continue with its generous subsidy of the time spent away from work for union officials and delegates.

“Now that Ambulance Victoria has offered in good faith to resolve these outstanding issues, I call upon Steve McGhie and his union to end this dispute now,” Mr Davis said.

“I call on the union to promptly and clearly recommend to our hard-working paramedics that they accept the offer without delay.

“The union has waged a political campaign for two years, and had a vested political interest in not resolving the dispute despite a fair and reasonable offer on the table to reward paramedics.

“The proposed rural relieving structure had set guidelines to minimise any impact or inconvenience on country paramedics while ensuring that rural Victorians had the best possible ambulance coverage, and was almost identical to the relieving system which has worked successfully in Melbourne for many years.

“Past agreements have contained a clause which meant that Ambulance Victoria and the state’s taxpayers more-than-generously subsidised the wages of union delegates and union officials while they were away from work and carrying out union business.

“Ambulance Victoria has now agreed to continue this. Notwithstanding these concerns, I endorse the offer of Ambulance Victoria in its bid to end this long-standing dispute.

“I now call on the ambulance union to show the same good faith and recommend to its members an immediate acceptance of the offer,” Mr Davis said.

Media contact: Ashley Gardiner 0427 560 438 ashley.gardiner@minstaff.vic.gov.au