Ambulance dispute ongoing

THE long-standing dispute over pay and conditions for local paramedics looks no closer to being resolved following a series of meetings last week.

On Friday Ambulance Employees Australia Victorian general secretary Steve McGhie told The Express his organisation had, on Thursday, asked the State Government and Ambulance Victoria to agree to a “consent arbitration” allowing Fair Work Australia to make an independent decision on the value of paramedics’ worth based on an assessment of arguments from both sides.

Mr McGhie said it was the third time since February last year the union had called for this arbitration, but he suspected the government was reluctant to agree since any counterclaim it would put to FWA “would be highly offensive towards ambulance paramedics and the Victorian public”.

At the time of The Express going to print the AEA Vic had not received a response from the government or AV.

Meanwhile, Mr McGhie said the union executive had also been given authority by its members to compile a further list of possible industrial bans which might be enacted in coming months.

“We have started this process with a view of seeking permission from (FWA) to conduct them and we will report back to the next state (AEA Vic) council meeting in two months,” he said.

Mr McGhie has suggested these bans could range from paperwork bans through to stopwork action.

At a meeting early last week between both parties, the State Government and AV presented another wage proposal to paramedics of two and half percent without the “trade-offs” Mr McGhie said they had attached to earlier wage proposals.

The proposal was, however, unanimously rejected by AEA Vic members at a meeting last Wednesday, he said.

He said the union wanted an opportunity to put its case before FWA “for why we should be paid more”.

At the time of going to print AV had not responded to The Express’ request for comment.