Many workers have told us about their experiences with fixed-term contracts. Competing multiple times for the job they do day in day out and still not getting selected because external applicants knock them off is not a good experience.
As described in ED1, permanent employment is the usual form of employment. However, fixed-term employees may be appointed for a specific term or for the duration of the specified task.
Normally fixed-term employment backfills a vacancy that is “temporary” in nature, such as a vacancy of parental leave or project work. COVID funding has created additional roles through different funding sources, like state and commonwealth funding, DOH, and AT funding. Each of those funding models has different commitment periods and has been subject to late changes and extensions of funding.
In the past, interns have been in fixed-term positions while on training, and the vast majority of those who obtain their ATP are given the opportunity to be appointed permanently. This used to be rudimentary and not subject to open competition. This has clearly changed.
We understand that there are currently 88 or so “non permanently funded” positions in the service, and we also understand some permanent employees hold positions that don’t have permanent funding. But we believe only a handful of current fixed-term positions will be removed when the above funding is withdrawn, and changes in the future will likely create more jobs or at least keep current jobs in the system.
We don’t understand why some employees are entering their fourth or fifth year of employment but are still sitting on fixed-term contracts without job security. In some cases, they’re not even offered a new fixed-term contract and are forced into casual work. We don’t believe this is a fair approach.
We are seeking a meeting with Ambulance Tasmania about this topic, pencilled in for the second week of October, and we want to hear from you before that.
If you are on a fixed-term contract, please complete this survey so we can help raise your specific concerns with your employer. This survey is open to all staff, including non-members.