St John Ambulance workers will go on strike today over poor pay and conditions, highlighting the unreasonable expectations of its Ballarat workers.
The action will be made up of members of the Victoria Ambulance Union (VAU), who say negotiations for better 16-month pay and working conditions are now at an ‘impasse’.
Part of the stall was St. John’s offer of a $0.14 an hour wage increase for its Patient Transport Officers (PTOs), an offer the VAU called “pathetic.”
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On top of that, the union alleges some full-time employees at Ballarat and Geelong St. John Ambulance have been asked to work a mandatory 16-hour fortnightly on-call shift beyond their normal hours.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the union describes PTOs and Ambulance Transport Attendants (ATAs) employed by the private sector in St. John’s as unsung heroes, transporting Covid-infected patients in what they say they are grueling conditions, while being among the lowest paid in the industry.
This is the first time members of the Victorian Union have taken industrial action against St. John’s and will include:
- Ambulances returning to their home branch for meal breaks.
- Work stoppages to write in liquid chalk on ambulances.
- Not starting work before the start of shifts or at the end of their shift (incidental overtime).
- A ban on working “on call” shifts
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. Tough conditions Ballarat workers wages spark ambulance action