Ambulance Victoria backs down on campaign warnings

Ambulance Victoria today withdrew warnings issued against paramedics for campaigning while wearing their work uniforms.

In a Federal Court hearing before His Honour Justice Tracey, paramedics agreed in return that they would not wear their uniforms as they campaigned for a fair enterprise agreement.

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The warning issued to paramedic Louise Creasey (above) has been withdrawn.

Paramedics have also agreed to abandon their Federal Court “adverse action” claim against Ambulance Victoria and individual managers for wrongful disciplinary actions.

Other letters issued to paramedics calling them in to disciplinary proceedings for campaigning in uniform now would not be acted upon, said Ambulance Employees Association secretary, Steve McGhie.

“Paramedics are determined to restore Victoria’s ambulance service. We want fair pay and conditions that will enable experienced paramedics to stay in the job,” said McGhie.

“We also want to be able to tell the public the real state of affairs, that the ambulance system is in crisis and this government has failed to fix it.”

This week Ambulance Victoria began calling in paramedics who had become the public faces of the paramedics’ Code Red campaign. They included Louise Creasey, who appears on a poster pointing out that when you really need it, one in every four ambulances won’t be there in time.

 McGhie said Ambulance Victoria had agreed to cancel the warning issued to Creasey, a six year paramedic. Disciplinary meetings already scheduled will now be cancelled. Paramedics would maintain their campaign.

The Ambulance Employees Association agreed to instruct its members on social media accordingly: “Ambulance Victoria uniforms must not be worn outside of work without the prior approval of Ambulance Victoria”.

McGhie said the disciplinary push was a distraction created by Ambulance Victoria doing the Napthine government’s dirty work.

 “The government has had two and a half years to solve this crisis and in the last fortnight of an election campaign Ambulance Victoria intervenes to stop paramedics having their say.

“Well, they may not be in uniform, but they will not be silenced.”

 


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