AT bargaining rundown

Posted on
September 15, 2022

For full transparency, here is our comprehensive advice about the government’s latest position in bargaining.
About an hour before the bargaining meeting, the government provided their response to our log of claims, which they’d had for 4 months by then. It was full of rejections, though there were some “alternate proposals” for consideration and a handful of claims were marked as “agreed”.
However, it would be misleading to say that these claims are wholly agreed at this point.
For example:

  • Our on call claims were “agreed in principle, subject to assessment of final impact of overall log of claims”
  • Improvements around breaks between duty were “agreed in principle, subject to the elimination of 14-hour shifts”
  • Providing notification about changes to time credit balance as they happen was “agreed in principle, subject to existing HR system capability”

All they have agreed to outright so far without further stipulation is this:

  • It will be a 3-year agreement
  • They’ll re-write a current provision for transfers to a safe job (for pregnant workers) for clarification, not to change the condition
  • An EMDSO (NEPTS) who is also an EMD will be paid as an EMD (this one is a head-scratcher)

Every other thing they’ve “agreed” to is something they intend to develop as a policy or implement outside of the EBA (so it won’t be enforceable as part of your agreement and can be changed again at AT’s whim).
Otherwise, there are several claims that they are treating as whole of government issues which they only “agree to explore further” throughout the other negotiations.
The government has said no to 22 different elements of the log of claims, including:

  • Changing the Workers Compensation entitlements
  • Removing uncapping meal break allowances
  • Payment of different allowances concurrently (e.g. bariatric and preceptor, etc)
  • Fixing the wage related allowances as previously benchmarked
  • A PPE allowance
  • Developing plans for working short of staff
  • Increasing maternity/parental leave provisions (they’ve said this is a whole of government matter)
  • Fatigue management being in the EBA
  • Education time being in the EBA
  • Qualifications allowances
  • Retaining the 4x4 shift pattern
  • Shift handovers
  • Night shift relief for older workers (flexibility arrangements only)
  • Increasing mental health support in service psychologist
  • Using ADOs as single days
  • Pro-rata LSL access after 7 years
  • Changes to sick leave entitlements (stay the same)
  • A commitment to provide training
  • A non-operational day every 6 weeks
  • Staffing in ComCen to reflect a safe operational environment
  • Excluding TLs and OSs from the standard call queue
  • Tightening recruitment of vacant positions
  • Penalty payment for late rosters
  • Releasing union delegates to attend meetings, considering fatigue
  • Getting a formal training qual before needing to train
  • Clarifying casual terms (this is industrially irresponsible)

The government has offered discussion on changing classifications, NEPTS structure, autopay, roster relief before exams and relief squad rostering.
The government has also proposed:

  • A new meal break clause based on the Victorian model which could be less penalty for most. It also does little regarding getting breaks in a timely manner, but it would remove the P0-only window.
  • Removing the CPD allowance (currently $335 per annum)
  • A new career structure with just 5 levels: Intern, Paramedic 1, Paramedic 2, Specialist Paramedic 1 and Specialist Paramedic 2
  • Removing composite pay and moving to shift-worked pay only, at rates to be determined
  • Moving pay day by one day
  • Contemporising waiting time penalties
  • Phasing out 4WD allowance and bariatric allowance and to tighten when precepting allowance is paid

We’ve asked for more information about all of these. You can read the government’s full response here.

For more information about this or any other industrial matter, members should contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email or complete our online contact form