Source: The Courier
PARAMEDICS are considering moving interstate if their controversial pay dispute continues.
Ballarat paramedic Adam Phillips said colleagues were feeling disgruntled with drawn-out negotiations, which had created low morale within staff at Ambulance Victoria.
“That was in place before the EBA (negotiations) but certainly this drawn-out enterprise agreement negotiation is adding to that, to the point where people are considering leaving and going interstate,” he said.
“I, for one, have grown up in Ballarat and now I am looking at interstate employment, that is leaving my family to go an work for another ambulance service.”
However, Minister for Health David Davis yesterday called the claims “factually untrue.”
“We know that the turnover rate, the number of paramedics leaving each year is around 4 per cent, which is historically one of the lowest it has been,” he said.
Mr Davis said Ambulance Victoria and the Ambulance Union had met this week to discuss the pay dispute.
The media campaign run by the Victorian Government over the EBA dispute has also caused anger among paramedics, according to Mr Phillips, who said he could earn up to $25,000 more and receive better treatment in a different state.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews and Ballarat West MP Sharon Knight met with paramedics in Ballarat yesterday to discuss the issues faced by ambulance crews.
Mr Andrews said paramedics had waited too long for a pay deal.
“They have been treated appallingly by Denis Napthine,” he said.
“This needs to stop, the deal needs to be done.”
The low morale claims were backed up by Ambulance Employees Australia secretary Steve McGhie, who said in the 33 years he had been associated with the industry he had never seen such low morale.
“Putting the wages aside, we need to make it a safer job, we need appropriate paramedic numbers across Ballarat, we need better support from management and better support from government, whoever it may be,” he said.