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2022 AEAWA Minutes

AEAWA Minutes for 2022

AEAWA Committee Minutes from November 24th, 2022

Meeting Chaired By
John Thomas

Meeting Time
09:30-11:30 on November 24, 2022 

Committee Attendees
John Thomas, Mike Hardwick, Lee Waller, Conrad Fairhead, Fernando Colella, Jesse George, Aaron Pittaway, Kirsty Roberts, Chris Smith, Paul Davies and Justin Ingrey.

Committee Apologies
Phil Stanaitis, Tania Hill and Callan McClure

Minutes of the Previous Meeting Presented and Accepted
Moved by John Thomas. Seconded by Chris Smith

Meeting Agenda
This is the monthly scheduled AEAWA meeting for all the Association Committees (Executive, Paramedic, Communications, Medic, and Transport). Association correspondence and issues from the membership will be discussed here.

Holiday Blocks in the Country
Every year there are multiple officers in country regions on annual leave over the Christmas roster. There is very little notice about leave changes until the previous roster, which means that there are in excess of 20 country relief positions requiring filling over the busiest period. The officers who fill these vacancies come from metro, which places further pressure on filing the vacant metro spots, once these officers locate to the various regions.

The AEAWA have raised this every year. Leave is not inclusive of Long Service Leave which is an entitlement. The AEAWA Executive are writing to SJA to bring this up again, and to see how SJA formalise this process. We were originally advised that this will be reviewed, and it appears this is still a current issue. It’s now been listed as a JCC item to discuss with senior SJA management.

New 224 Vehicles
There has been much talk on social media regarding the information dispelled both on Yammer and another social media page that we are about to see five new 224 vehicles implemented into the fleet. The AEAWA have been instrumental with discussions with the Department of Health, senior SJA management and during the Parliamentary Inquiry about more resources in both metro and country locations (Ellenbrook, Lansdale. Morley Merriwa and Cockburn.

The AEAWA listed many more locations, however due to a lack of infrastructure, these locations had been selected as they could hold an extra vehicle, rather than on workload and demand alone. SJA DO NOT want to make these crews permanent. The AEAWA on the other hand, do. So further discussions are taking place in the background on resourcing. The AEAWA have fought hard to get these extra vehicles into the fleet. We believe there is a demand for these crews, and this demand will only increase.

Members should be aware however, that this is not a ‘done deal’ and nothing has been confirmed as yet. The AEAWA are also writing to SJA to ascertain their long-term resourcing plan and will advise the membership on receiving that response.

Extended Care Paramedic/Paramedic Practitioner
The roll out of the ECP has been discussed with SJA, this will most likely be a two-year project whilst a suitable applicant for the position is found, this person will assist in the development of the program. Once this is finalised and the process has been developed the recruitment process will begin for officers to partake in the role.

The AEAWA are supportive of this role and providing various career pathways to our members. We have discussed with SJA that we would like to see this extra resource working 24/7 but do understand in the initial period of the trial, this will go to a day roster. The Department of Health are on board with this, and further information will be provided when
further talks occur.

Endo Tracheal Intubation
The email from the previous medical director regarding ETTs was suggestive of the skill of ETT being removed at the end of this year. Newer officers are no longer taught the skill; however, the email was suggestive of the skill remaining for those who are currently trained and authorised. The AEAWA would like the skill to remain but are also understanding that the CCP on-road program will lessen the need, and that these individuals will bring the required medication regimes with them to scene. This however (at this current time) will not occur 24/7, and there is obviously a need to retain the skill in country regions.

Further meetings will most likely occur regarding maintaining the skill, and pathways for training for those officers currently trained and authorised to do so. Further information will be provided shortly.

Para CEP – need to learn how to work with a CCP
The AEAWA see the need to set up a committee to facilitate the process of training officers to assist CCPs on scene, especially around when CCPs intubate. Many officers may not be aware of the CCP process, where the equipment is located and how they can assist. The AEAWA believe that if at CEP this is taught, it would allow scenes to run more smoothly and facilitate better patient outcomes and reduce on-scene stress and confusion.

The AEAWA Treasurer Report
The AEAWA report from the Treasurer was tabled. The financials of the Association were discussed and all recent debit and credits were provided to the Executive. The Executive Committee both reviewed and accepted the report and any financial member of the Association can request a copy through [email protected].

General Updates

EBU Security
We have written to the Ambulance Service Director and CC’d Rick Candy (Safety Representative on the Committee). SJA have been to EBU to observe and review its safety and will provide the AEAWA with information shortly. This has been a long and arduous process, but we are in constant discussions over member safety within this location. The AEAWA want an outcome ASAP and are waiting to hear back.

Correspondence In

AO/AO Crews
There have been numerous instances where para/para crews are not being split and there have been AO/AO crews rostered. Members have written to the AEAWA with their concerns over AO/AO crews. SJA state that they tried to do everything that has been previously agreed to (calling in over timers, splitting the para/para crews etc) before the implementation of AO crews.

The AEAWA understand this is difficult, if an officer is at Two Rocks it’s hard to locate them to Mandurah to facilitate this. Rosters have also stated they have called and text officers to fill the vacancies, however many are not taking up the overtime. The AEAWA have discussed a call back roster on Whats App, and will write to SJA for a senior member of the committee to be placed on the App. This will make it a more transparent process, and the committee will be able to see if officers are responding to overtime messages.

Currently we have no access to the responses, or the texts or messages being sent. It is difficult to see if members are being provided an opportunity to work OT. SJA will trial this. AEAWA will follow this up.

Splitting the EBU Day Vans
There have been numerous instances where para/para crews are being split, which leaves an extra two volunteers or paid Transport Officers rostered to work on a vehicle. The AEAWA are writing to SJA to understand why this is continually being done and what the process are being implemented to reduce these occurrences.

Time in College Counting Towards Progression
Previously time in the College had counted towards progression, and this has been stated to multiple students by college management. SJA are now enforcing a policy stating that time in the College does count towards progression. Students are now being advised that their progression is being moved back to next year.
The AEAWA are writing to SJA to understand what the actual process is, and why it keeps changing.

Meal Break Locations
The staff tearoom at RPH has been shut for maintenance and while the microwaves have been replaced there has been no communication telling SJA staff where we might find seating facilities to take meal breaks. Further to this the toilets currently require SJA staff to borrow a swipe card to access them, this process can take time depending on how busy the hospital staff are, some hospital personnel are still reluctant to hand over swipe access to officers.

It is understandable from time to time that these facilities may not be open, due to renovations etc. Those in the SOC may also not be aware of this. If any officer is asked to take their meal break at a facility that is noted to be appropriate, and at the time for whatever reason they cannot be accessed, then a further location MUST BE found. Please advise SOC if the facility cannot be accessed or is substandard and arrange a different location.

If this is denied, please contact an AEAWA delegate immediately. Also please be aware that these decisions are made by management and not by the SOC officer advising you to take your break in that location. This may need to be discussed with the appropriate person in the SOC.

Meal Breaks
We advised SJA that a meal break message should go on the AmbiCad. This will stop crews who may be asleep waking up to go on a meal break. Currently Norseman Officers are being told they cannot apply for a meal break as they are not at the depot. The AEAWA dispute this and are writing to SJA. Our view is the Certified Agreement does not identify officers in Norseman to be exempt from the allowance. We have written to SJA over this.

Correspondence Out
There was no correspondence out to discuss.

AEAWA Business

New Members
A total of 36 members joined last month and we have a further 16 this month.

Member Database
Members were emailed as we need to ensure our database is up to date, many of the long serving AEAWA members did not have their postal addresses recorded when they originally joined the AEA. To align with our regulations, we are updating them. Officers need to know that the AEAWA will not disclose this information to any other party. It is purely if a review of the membership is audited.

Names, mobile phone numbers or addresses will never be disclosed. However, with all Unions and Associations, under the Act have to retain member information for registration purposes (basically to ensure no organisation falsifies member numbers; stating they have more than what they actually have).

AEAWA Recruitment Drive
This is going really well, and we have taken on 63 new members since this commenced.

Upcoming Events
We will require some assistance with the AEAWA Induction talks from committee members.
– Medic Induction, Monday 28th November (10:45-11:30)
– Transport Induction, 5th December (09:30-10:15)
– Paramedic JCC, Tuesday 6th December (12:30-14:30)

New AEAWA Website Format
The website is to be updated in the new year with more member information contained within it. The new format will assist both the membership and the committee with information dispersal. It will basically run the same as the current website, with extra information pages and a more streamlined reporting process for members.

Upcoming Committee Lunch/Dinner
As all of the committees have been formed it’s a good opportunity for the committees to get together and discuss the next three years of the AEAWA.

AEAWA Xmas Party
The Xmas party is booked for December 22 and if you can assist on the day or have any ideas about what can make the day more enjoyable for families, please contact [email protected]. We have lots of ideas, however members may be able to suggest others for the day.

General Business

How do we disseminate information to the members?
A discussion took place about the info dissemination on the website, facebook and email platforms. Delegates have been contacted by those not on FaceBook about missing out on information and could this be placed on the website. The AEAWA are reluctant in placing certain information in the public forum. At least FaceBook is a closed forum, whereas anyone can access the website. Certain information is located there, however not all can be disseminated this way. Many members also do not want information overload via email.

If there are any members who are not on facebook and would like the information placed on FaceBook to be sent to them they can contact [email protected] and this can be facilitated.

AOs Having Issues with Roster Request
Officers’ requests are often denied, and they are working spare over multiple rosters. A process needs to be streamlined to make this work better for our newer members. The AEAWA are already in discussion with SJA regarding this and further information will be provided shortly. If any members are finding their requests are continually not being met, they are advised to contact the AEAWA, and we can sort something more palatable on their behalf.

Staffing Levels in The Southwest
There are many vacancies within this region, and this is continually being discussed with SJA. We will advise the membership shortly on that outcome. We are also reviewing a fairer process in filling these vacancies.

Associate Members
Members will soon be providing information on the AEAWA Associate member package. Many paramedics who have moved into various other positions and have maintained casual paramedic contracts have approached the AEAWA on gaining or retaining their membership. The committee have drafted a process, and this will be placed on the website in the new year for members and potential members to view.

There being no further business the meeting was closed at 11:35

Next (tentative) Committee meeting Wednesday January 11th, 2022 at 09:00 via Microsoft Teams

AEAWA Committee Minutes from November 2nd, 2022

Meeting Chaired By
John Thomas.

Meeting Commenced
09:30-11:00 on November 2, 2022.

Committee Attendee’s
John Thomas, Mike Hardwick, Lee Waller, Rick Candy, Phil Stanaitis, Justin Ingrey, Todd Jones, Kirsty Roberts and Chris Smith.

Committee Apologies
Conrad Fairhead, Kami Evans, Paul Davies, Troy Bates and Jesse George.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting Presented and Accepted
Moved Lee Waller, Seconded Michael Hardwick.

Meeting Agenda
This is the monthly scheduled AEAWA meeting for all the Association Committees (Executive, Paramedic, Communications, Medic, and Transport). Association correspondence and issues from the membership will be discussed here.

Correspondence In

MHTO vehicle doing P0, P1 and P2 community calls
In the southwest there has been an increased usage of this vehicle attending calls outside of mental health within the community. There was an assurance given initially that these officers would not be used for these types of responses, however now SJA are allowing this practice to happen.

SJA have stated they do not want to have a vehicle at the depot when a high priority community response is waiting. MHTO crews have applied for a position to do mental health transfer work, they have not done emergency response training.

The AEAWA believe they should be only sent to P0’s in the community as a last resource. The Executive are in talks with senior SJA management about this issue. Discussions took place on ways in which to rectify tis situation, The consensus was to hold SJA to the contract of only responding to community cardiac arrests in the community.

Unreasonable Overtime
There have been some issues with crews not being provided take over crews either on scene or whilst at hospitals. Members would like to know, as the realise it is now in our new certified agreement, what can they do when it has been requested by a SOC manager and has been denied?

The AEAWA have written to SJA to resolve this issue and to reduce this. The AEAWA would like members to fill out an Incident Report and email the committee ([email protected]) so we can monitor this. SJA have a responsibility to get you off on time.

Paid Travel
Members approached the AEAWA that travel has not been paid, they were rostered on a 224 vehicle and on the list for a day van and were not paid the travel. They believe SJA should provide the travel as they are not working the 224. The AEAWA believe unless it is classed as your home depot and you are not on the list for the 224 and you work on a day van, you should receive the payment.

Spoilt Meal Breaks
There is some confusion and disparity amongst the allocation of meal breaks. Some managers constantly break them and hence the crew receive the allowance whilst other never break them. Issues also relate to crews on the dot being given the meal break and the crews just coming in are now given the next job.

The AEAWA are in discussions with SJA about this disparity. There needs to be consistency across the shifts and the managers. Discussions have taken place to place the meal break allotted times onto the crews AmbiCad rather than selcalling the depot. The issue with the dot is a lot harder to fix, but the committee are providing solutions to SJA. There could be a possibility for crews when they get back to the depot to contact SOC to ask to be put on a meal break. Most feedback aligns with the AmbiCad message. It was acknowledged it has improved, however there are still some issues.

Paramedic Progression
There is some confusion on the transition to various ambulance classifications for those coming from other services. The definition of ‘jurisdictional ambulance service’ with SJA is being used in various different ways and members would like to know why some make it through to a paramedic level and some are made AOs.

The AEAWA were told during negotiations that this would be reviewed by a case-by-case basis. Some officers work for a private organisation, however they actually respond to emergency calls in the community. The intent of the clause was to stop individuals who have worked for an ambulance service that DOES NOT provide a community emergency response, and not for officers that align with an emergency service and responds. The AEAWA will write to SJA, as during negotiations a blanket ‘no’ was never considered or discussed.

EBU Security Issues and Outcome
There has been a lot of discussion over this, and members would like to know were we are at with this process. They were advised by senior management that the security cameras would be a deterrent. A recent issue occurred, and officers were advised that the cameras were not recording so security footage could not be accessed.

The AEAWA wrote to the Ambulance Service Director and have still not received a response. SJA will be contacted to see what the response is today. Further information will be provided.

AEAWA Business

AEAWA family Xmas day
Some assistance is required to facilitate the day. Many of the committee executive are currently working on numerous representations and the general running of the Association. If anyone can assist this would be great. Kirsty Roberts and Mike Hardwick were nominated to organising this,

Organising children’s activities, food and coffee vans etc are to be discussed.

New members
The AEAWA have had 30 members join last month.

AEAWA Associate Members
This type of membership allows those with a casual paramedic contract to be covered, i.e Professional Indemnity Insurance, Journey Cover, Bereavement Cover. This will be circulated to the general membership soon.

AEAWA Industrial Members
There are numerous officers who have been AEAWA members leaving the service to go to industrial and still require membership coverage. The committee is happy for this to continue and welcome industrial members to the AEAWA membership.

AEAWA Recruitment Drive
The AEAWA would like delegates to approach those who are not with either of the groups. There are still a proportion of members who can be approached to become a member, and we should start having these discussions with our colleagues.

Paramedic JCC
The Paramedic Joint Consultative Meeting has been set for Tuesday 6th December – 12:30-14:30. Delegates from the new AEAWA Paramedic Committee if available will be required to attend the upcoming Joint Consultative Committee meeting, along with the executive.

Correspondence Out
There was no correspondence out to discuss.

General Business

Country Officers Doing Country Relief
Members would like to know why they are not contacted to do country relief. Some officers appear to do plenty whilst others are denied. The AEAWA have had this discussion

Medics in the Country
Members have contacted the AEAWA about this potential implementation. The AEAWA are yet to hear anything official from SJA.

There being no further business the meeting was closed at 11:15

Next Committee Meeting Thursday 24th December 2022 at 09:30 via Microsoft Teams

AEAWA SOC JCC Minutes from October 25th, 2022

Chaired By
Wil White

Meeting commenced
13:00-15:00 on October 25th, 2022

Committee Attendee’s
John Thomas, Lee Waller and Callan McClure

Committee Apologies
Kam Phagura, Liz Jaggard and Troy Bates

SJA Attendees
Wil White, Stephanie Freemantle, Bree Jones and Kerryn Welke

SJA Updates
SJA opened the meeting by stating they are very happy with the performance of staff in the room and understand the pressures employees are under.

Staff Planning
Increasing staff numbers within the room is a priority of SJA to alleviate employee stress. They have been made aware of further pressures as numerous staff have trained up to be in various leadership roles which at times has left a void within the room.

The AEAWA are supportive of employee progression but would like to see staffing levels increased to fill the positions that employees are leaving. Members are often left with increased workloads when this occurs.

SJA state the establishment numbers is 156. Basically 118 Communications Officers, Dispatchers and Operational Support Officers. The rest is made up of ANCs, RTMs DMs etc.

Clinical Hub
Increasing staffing has occurred within this area of the organisation. Clinical Nurse Specialists, Registered Nurses, General Practitioners and Paramedics make up the team to reduce hospital attendances. This will become a 24/7 position soon, and further information on this progression will occur in the near future.

Acoustic Protection devices were trialed with sound shields. Plantronics headsets were the better products found by staff, however SJA are still not convinced that this is a safe option.

As with the previous acoustic shock injuries the actual issue with the radio network was not found or rectified. So, until the issue(s) is/are found and fixed the AEAWA are not supportive of headsets within the room. Staff safety is paramount over headphones.

CAD Terminal Updates
The scheduled update of moving the CAD onto a domain was met with issues. The update was not implemented due to an issue with the patch. SJA wanted to pass on their appreciation to those who were on shift at the time, and for those who came into help.

Meal Break Management
Officers in SOC are aware of the issues this is causing both in the room and on the road. Managers know that staff do not want to wake crews up to go onto a meal break, but currently there is no other option. There needs to be a better system to reduce this frustration. This will be answered under the AEAWA agenda items.

Abusive Caller Policy
The SDOs are currently gathering data on these specific callers, and the MyOsh issues with SOC staff being unable to lodge certain issues have now been fixed. Flow charts will be placed on MyOsh so it’s more user friendly to use for SOC officers.

Low Morale in the Room
As the organisational cultural survey was highly critical towards an ‘us’ and ‘them’ culture, SJA are looking to implement working groups to work together on solutions to limit this gap. Over the coming weeks shift meetings will occur (in person or online) with senior SJA managers so that employees can identify any issues. The AEAWA stated the biggest issue is limited numbers in the room. This creates fatigue, poor audit outcomes, burnout, limited enthusiasm for overtime etc.

SJA would like officers to attend these meeting and raise their concerns.

Employee Overtime
SJA acknowledge the pressures both staff within the room and at the rosters department are under. Overtime texts are ad hoc, with some officers never receiving them. To alleviate this pressure SJA are looking to pilot an App based system where people can see what OT is available and for what position. The OT will be given to the person with the least amount of OT recorded against them on the system. The App will also consider the shifts (what day the OT is available and where you are on your 4 days off). The system will also be able to work out if you are on Annual Leave etc.

As this is a new pilot, only certain managers and rosters employees will control it. The AEAWA asked if the DMs could be involved in the pilot, as rosters close early in the night and the managers running the system may also not be there. At least the DMs are there 24/7, it would be more beneficial for them to contact staff for OT.

Inconsistent Emails Causing Confusion
At one stage staff were receiving multiple emails from multiple sources with slight differences that created confusion. The AEAWA stated that although this has reduced significantly it is still happening. Maybe one source of information would reduce these issues. SJA have agreed to this and will monitor those emails.

AEAWA Raised Items

Members have been asking for a progression policy. Currently there is no documentation either in the SOC or the college that defines the progression in the room. For example.

  1. How long (in shifts/hours/timeline) is it for an OSO to apply to do the call-taker course?
  2. How long as a call-taker do you have to be able to apply for a Radio Dispatcher position?
  3. How long or how many hours do you need as a Radio Dispatcher to be a mentor?
  4. How long or how many shifts as a Country Dispatcher do you need to do to a apply to be a Metro Dispatcher

The Paramedic/Ambulance Officers Certified Agreement has the time frame to move into various positions, but we don’t. This is making it confusing on who can and who cannot apply for roles within the room.

SJA are very supportive of this and will place a SOC progression map onto Connect once completed.

The AEAWA have raised numerous times that peer reviewed audits are more palpable to employees. To assess a call and provided the feedback the person should be qualified in the role and the processes. SJA are currently looking to implement this.

They have also looked at officers who have left the SOC role (still in the service and qualified) to assist with the audits.

Overtime Process
What is the current process for overtime? There have been numerous occasions when we all know we are going to be short on a shift, but no overtime texts have gone out. Does the DM have the ability to authorise someone in the room to contact people after rosters have knocked off for the day?

SJA – The DMs can authorise OT, and the new pilot will investigate these problems and hopefully rectify it.

Staffing Levels
Again, we appear to be back to below minimum numbers. This is placing pressures on the officers within the room. When is the next SOC intake, and how many are OSOs and Communications Officers are in those schools?

SJA stated there is currently a Communications Officer school in progress with 8 officers, an OSO conversion school with 4 officers, a school for 10 Communications Officers in January as well as another OSO conversion course with 4 officers. Work with the college has occurred so that these courses can be more streamlined.

Recruitment Process
Last JCC it was discussed that there was approximately 50% of call-takers/OSOs that were employed have already left. A discussion took place on potentially having officers within the SOC appointed to assist in the process of selecting people for the role. Has there been any traction on this?

SJA stated that this has been occurring, Communications Officers had been involved in the recent recruitment processes.

Allocating Meal Breaks for Crews
There has been a lot of kick back from crews on road on the process of allocating meal breaks, particularly on nights. On occasion we are waking crews up to take a meal break. Is there any way we can streamline this process?

The AEAWA believe that a message on the AmbiCad on night shifts should solve the issue. A crew will know if they have had a spoilt meal break, when they see the AmbiCad. We are happy for further discussions to occur.

IAED Recertification and Training Modules
Doing this on shift is often difficult trying to read and work under exam conditions with noise in the room. Is there the ability to have a separate location away from the room for staff to complete this training? This has been brought up before as its often distracting. The modules with audio components are the hardest to complete within the room.

SJA stated the training PC is in the wrong place and understand the difficulty in using this during busy times within the room. There will be a CAD PC placed in the training room for staff to use. Also, Wil stated his office has a training CAD so outside of business hours both his and Austin’s PCs can be used in the short term, until a better location can be arranged.

Seniority within the Room
Besides pay, there is little difference between a CO1-CO4. Members would like to see this seniority rewarded. For example, those who are CO2 and above can apply for Radio Dispatcher positions etc. This means staff have the time to develop as a Communications Officer before they apply for a Radio Dispatcher position. Other Certified Agreements within SJA have something similar but Comms do not.

Members are happy for further discussions around this to take place, and suggestions to be tabled. SJA are in agreeance with this and want to develop a working group and have further discussions around this.

Correct utilisation of the Pools within SOC
At the previous SOC JCC the AEAWA discussed the correct process for filling roles within the room, and the fact that the correct process at times was not being followed. The example provided was the RTM acting in the DM position. Some officers had minimum to no training to take on the role. Another example was an RTM position being filled by dispatchers who are not even in the RTM pool.

SJA stated at the last JCC that they will review these processes and enter further discussions. The AEAWA would like to know where we are in this process.

SJA would like further details around this, they understand on a short-term filling of a position this may occur. They stated that if at any time this process is not followed correctly to provide the details and it will be reviewed.

Onboarding v Retention Numbers.
During the meeting the AEAWA asked SJA to provide the onboarding and retention numbers from the previous schools, matching these against the numbers within the room. SJA will provide this information to the AEAWA as soon as possible.

Next meeting

AEAWA Committee Minutes from October 5th, 2022

Meeting Chaired By
John Thomas.

Meeting Commenced
09:30-11:15 on October 5, 2022.

Committee Attendee’s
John Thomas, Mike Hardwick, Lee Waller, Aaron Pittaway, Amelia Heald, Rick Candy, Phil Stanaitis, Liz Jaggard, Callan McClure, Amanda Howell, Kami Evans, Paul Davies, Jesse George, Justin Ingrey, Todd Jones, Dave Bryant, Amelia Heald and Chris Smith.

Committee Apologies
Conrad Fairhead, Sarah Hipworth, Dave Bryant, Troy Bates and Tania Hill.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting Presented and Accepted
Moved Callan McClure, Seconded Michael Hardwick.

Meeting Agenda
This is the monthly scheduled AEAWA meeting for all the Association Committees (Executive, Paramedic, Communications, Medic, and Transport). Association correspondence and issues from the membership will be discussed here.

Correspondence In

BCP in the Southwest
The Southwest regional office is still placing RASOs with paramedics even though the BCP level is set as level 2, meaning paramedics should not be working with RASOs. According to SJA this level has been relaxed across the state with the exceptions of the Bunbury and Australind areas. The AEAWA spoke with AMOD Justin Fonte and Joe Cuthbertson who were unaware of this.

We will contact Management to clarify the current BCP level and ascertain when these levels will align with the rest of the state.

Permanent Merriwa 22
Many members have stated there is discussion with some managers about Merriwa 22 coming online soon and would like to know if this is the case. Also, what is the process of extra crews placed into establishment. The AEAWA understand that these new positions are being discussed on the road, however nothing formal has come from SJA. If Merriwa does get another 224 (which the AEAWA are advocating for) then the spots will be filled by the current list system. If a Day vehicle is placed there, then a new list will be formed at rosters.

The AEAWA will discuss extra crews with SJA at further upcoming meetings.

OT Availability
Crews are calling up for OT and being told that there is no OT available, this is despite being multiple crews down and depots closed. The AEAWA have discussed this issue and have been told that as there is a shortage of vehicles, rosters are unable to log overtime into vehicles that are not-available.

The AEAWA would like to hear if any other officers are being denied overtime, especially on nights were there are multiple vehicles down and depots closed. If you do call rosters for OT and you are advised there is none available please let the AEAWA know on [email protected],; stating what time you called, what shift was denied and who advised there was no overtime, so we can log these issues.

Meal Break SOP
There have been issues with crews being woken up at 03:00 to let them know they are to start their meal break; crews are stating that this is causing issues with fatigue. We are currently in discussions with SJA over this and will advise the membership of an outcome shortly. Maybe an AmbiCad message advising the crew of their breaks. We are also aware of the added pressures this is placing on our SOC colleagues. As this is very shift dependent, there appears to be multiple ways this process is being handled. Some shifts have had officers rostered to the radio or phones performing the task of calling crews to take a meal break, whilst others leave it to the RTM.

Double Stryker Stretchers in Depots
There have been concerns at the rollout for the Stryker stretchers, in essence it being too slow. Members have asked what the time frame for this will be, many depots still only have one Stryker, which puts the crews still using the Fernos at greater risk of injury.

The AEAWA have been made aware of there being plenty of Stryker Stretchers waiting to be installed into the ambulances. Initially these stretchers were for new vehicles entering the fleet and were also to be retrofitted into older vehicles. The retrofits do not appear to be happening. The AEAWA will write to SJA to obtain the rollout plan with dates for the complete refit of the fleet.

Security Issues at East Bunbury Depot
Again, there has been another security issue at EBU, and crews are getting concerned at the lack of urgency with SJA in rectifying this issue. This has been discussed numerous times and each time a serious security concern has been raised SJA discuss the installation of more cameras. The AEAWA believe after this latest security near-miss that the depot has to be secure for our members to work out of. The AEAWA will contact senior country management and have these issued assessed immediately.

The rental contract for EBU has almost expired and perhaps adequate fencing could be placed into the renewal of the lease contract. This issue is being raised through the Safety Representative forum as another avenue to rectify this safety issue.

Special Leave Declined
Officers have contacted the Association as they have had special leave dates denied, even though with the signing of the new Paramedic/Ambulance Officers Certified Agreement; more spots were made available. As the new Certified Agreement has been signed and is current, the Special Leave numbers have increased from 6 to 7. Unfortunately, no one had advised rosters of this, so they were working on the lower number. This has now been rectified.

If you are denied Special Leave, please contact the AEAWA ([email protected]) and advise us of when you applied, what date you applied for and who advised you that you could not take that spot. This is so we can track the areas these requests are failing as in the past, members have been advised that the spots were full, when in fact there were free position available.

Some of our Medic colleagues have asked where their issues fit within the JCC meetings, i.e., what forum do they have to raise concerns? For our Medic members any issues brought to the AEAWA will be dealt with immediately, as with all other member issues. Certain issues with be brought up in the Joint Consultative Committee meetings (either at the Transport or Paramedic JCCs, dependent on the issue raised), or will be raised to St John senior management. If any of our Medic members have any issues, please approach your new Medic Delegates or email the AEAWA.

Utilising PTS for priority calls in country regions
Officers in the regional areas would like clarification on PTS attending emergency calls in the community on a regular basis, particularly in the Southwest. SJA are deeming it appropriate to task these calls in the community with an emergency response to a Transport crew, however state it is not appropriate to send them to do a lower priority transfer out of the hospital with the same patient, as the patient is monitored. Many of the PTS officers are not happy that they are being tasked to high priority community responses whilst working a Transport shift.

We have also heard that SJA are purposely placing transport Officers into Ambulances instead of Transport vehicles so they can respond to Priority 1 calls. It would be cheaper for a Transport Vehicle to be made than an Ambulance, but SJA appear to be placing ambulances into country regions for Transport to respond to emergency calls and have limited ambulances within the metro area. This also causes angst amongst the membership both on the road and in SOC of who can be dispatched for what. At the moment there is little organisational policy around this. The AEAWA will discuss this with SJA at upcoming meetings to rectify this issue.

Correspondence Out
There was no correspondence out to discuss.

AEAWA Business
Paramedic Joint Consultative Meeting This date is TBA. Delegates from the new AEAWA Paramedic Committee if available will be required to attend the upcoming Joint Consultative Committee meeting, along with the executive.

SOC Joint Consultative Meeting
This date is Tuesday 25th October (13:30-15:30). Delegates from the new AEAWA Communications Committee if available will be required to attend the upcoming Joint Consultative Committee meeting, along with the executive.

Transport Joint Consultative Meeting
This date is Tuesday 15th November. Delegates from the new AEAWA Transport Committee if available will be required to attend the upcoming Joint Consultative Committee meeting, along with the executive.

Communications and Operational Support Officer Talk at the College
The AEAWA require delegates on the SOC committee along with some of the executive to attend the College to talk to the new students on Friday 7 th October (12:45-13:30).

General Business

Issues within the SOC
Many of our SOC members have written to the AEAWA of late describing occurrences within the room. Lately there appears to be little discussion around courses and rostering. Basically, officers are placed on courses with little warning or preparation times and are sometimes moved across shifts to facilitate this. Members have advised that recently shift exchanges are being denied between call-takers and radio dispatchers, even though on most occasions the number within the room could facilitate these swaps.

There is often miscommunication around radio dispatch as some officers once finishing their country training are told they now must do the metro training, whilst some are advised they can just work as a country dispatcher. There appears to be little clear direction and staff are not feeling supported by senior management. The AEAWA will raise these concerns both at the Communications JCC and in letters to the senior executive of SJA.

Extra Osborne Park Crew
Since the increase of the additional night vehicle at Osborne Park there has been an inability for crews to rest and recline comfortably due to the lack of facilities. The AEAWA will be in discussions with SJA regarding this placement and to ensure that all crews on shift have enough space and facilities.

Ambi-Cad Message for the Cessation of Meal Breaks
The AEAWA were advised that a message went out that it was too busy at the moment for meal breaks so basically you will just get paid the allowance. In essence we understood this may be the case on occasion, but it is not to be used for a continually spoilt meal break attitude.

The AEAWA fought long and hard to have this break placed into our certified Agreement, it is your right to take that break, as it is with all other industries. If crews are not being contacted by SOC to advised them within the 6-hour window to take their lunch break, they are to record it on their timecard. We understand initially this is new and there will be some teething problems. These will be rectified shortly.

Surge Workforce Currently Being Trained in the College
The AEAWA were made aware of more RASOs being trained within the college even though the BCP levels throughout most of the State being dropped. As you would be aware it is the BCP levels that allow RASOs to work in ambulances. The AEAWA will write to SJA to understand what this training package is and the rational of the training that is currently being undertaken.

ICBs for Night Shifts
As the rosters department do not work 24/7 there is little organisational ability to call crews in for overtime once rosters finish their shifts. There appears to be little appetite from SJA to fill night shift vehicles. The AEAWA would like to see a policy for the filling of OT shifts, and compile a list of interested officers who would be prepared to come in and also responsibility for such call ins past 19:00.

AEAWA Christmas Function
The AEAWA are currently organising a function for members and their families (young children especially) and further information will be placed on the website and FB page soon.

There being no further business the meeting was closed at 11:15

Next Committee Meeting Wednesday 2nd November 2022 at 09:30 via Microsoft Teams

AEAWA Committee Minutes from September 8th, 2022

Meeting Commenced
12:00-14:00 on September 8, 2022.

Committee Attendee’s
John Thomas, Mike Hardwick, Lee Waller, Conrad Fairhead, Callan McClure, Rick Candy, Aaaron Pittaway, Phil Stanaitis, Justin Ingrey, Troy Bates, Damian Condo, Jesse George and Andrew Kerfoot.

Committee Apologies
Sarah Hipworth, Dave Bryant and Tania Hill.

Previous Minutes
Passed by Mike Hardwick and Lee Waller.

AEAWA Membership
There has been a total of 36 new members signed this month.

Meeting Agenda
Today was a meeting to formalise the new AEAWA committees for the next three-year term.

The Next Three Years
After many nominations for the committee, today seen the voting in of the new AEAWA office bearers and the roles within the Association.

The AEAWA Executive Committee
The AEAWA Committee was officially disbanded after serving its three-year term. This seen the roles of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and two Executive Delegate positions being vacated. The AEAWA thanked the work that had been done over the past three years by the previous executive, and in particular thanked Dave Higgins and Donelle Carver as both officers have not reapplied for this next term. The work that Dave and Donelle have put into the Association is monumental and has certainly set the foundation for this current term.

After voting the new AEAWA officer bearers are; President – John Thomas, Vice President – Mike Hardwick, Secretary – Lee Waller, Treasurer – Callan McClure, Executive Delegate – Conrad Fairhead, Executive Delegate – Jesse George and Executive Delegate – Tania Hill.

The AEAWA Paramedic Committee
The new Paramedic delegates representing the AEAWA are Sarah Hipworth, Justin Ingrey, Dave Bryant, Damian Condo, Paul Davies, Andy Wright, Fernando Colella, Bek Tierney, Rick Candy, Chris Smith, Aaron Pittaway, Daniel Mariner, Ed Doran, Phil Stanaitis and Todd Jones.

The AEAWA Communications Committee
The new Communications delegates representing the AEAWA are Troy Bates, Liz Jaggard, Kam Phagura and Kami Evans.

The AEAWA Transport Committee
The new Transport delegates representing the AEAWA are Amanda Howell, Karen Gerristen, Anne Bridie and Jon Noble.

The AEAWA Medic Committee
Medics are a new classification within the organisation and the committee believe it is vital that they are represented appropriately. Those delegates representing the AEAWA and the Medic workforce are Amelia Heald and Jordan O’Sullivan.

Committees and Working Groups
As well as the general committees in the Association, there are also multiple working groups and sub-committees. Today seen Rick Candy being appointed to the Communications (Radio) Committee and Tania Hill, Jesse George and Aaron Pittaway being appointed to the uniform committees. John Thomas, Lee Waller and Mike Hardwick were appointed as proxies.

Meetings with our National Colleagues
Due to COVID restrictions finally settling down discussions took place on meeting with other Unions and Associations across Australia. In the past this has always been a great networking tool, as delegates have gained valuable knowledge from delegates in other services. This is especially important during EBA negotiations. Further information on when this meeting will take place will be discussed at a later date.

Training for Delegates
Some of the new delegates have asked for training when representing members. The committee are happy to arrange this and will also arrange some type of tutoring in the near future for any delegate who requests it. 

General Business

Use of Transport for Priority Ones
The AEAWA have been contacted on multiple occasions over this matter. It creates confusion across the service. Multiple Transport Officers in the country regions are not happy they are being used as an ad hoc emergency response. It appears that the paramedics are out doing lower priority calls and when an emergency call comes in it is dispatched to the Transport crew. The AEAWA will contact SJA to get a response as this seems to be happening across the state.

Tutor Allowances Not Being Paid
Paramedics in the Southwest who have an observer working with them have recently been denied the allowance when claiming it. The AEAWA believe that this is part of our negotiated Certified Agreement and that any correctly claimed allowance should be paid. The committee will write to SJA to ascertain why the payment is being denied.

Parliamentary Inquiry
The AEAWA are still active with the Parliamentary Inquiry and are very proactive in making sure the recommendations are adhered to. We have written to SJA to get an understanding on where we are at with the recommendations and what is the time frame for each implementation.

Future Committee Meetings
The Committee will meet monthly (first Wednesday of every month).

Next Meeting
Wednesday 5th October 09:30-11:00 (tentative).

AEAWA Transport JCC Minutes from August 9th, 2022

Meeting commenced
13:00-15:30 on August 9th, 2022

Committee Attendee’s
John Thomas, Lee Waller and Jon Nobel

Committee Apologies
Mike Hardwick, Dave Higgins, and Conrad Fairhead.

SJA Attendees
Tony Fitzgerald, Natalie Braxton, Alan Clyne, Simon Hughes, Serena, Ken Tan.

Opening Statement

Returning to Pre COVID-Staffing and Call Levels
SJA informed us that the workload and staffing levels are returning to pre COVID levels, however there is still a need to increase these levels. No information on how many or recruitment plans, and timings were provided.

New Transport Vehicles
There are four new vehicles for officers to work in across the fleet which will reduce the need for Transport crews using Ambulances. However, members have stated that these are currently being used by the Medic crews. These vehicles have also been fitted out with the new Stryker Stretchers and Transport Officers are not given the opportunity to work in them. SJA will review this.

There has been a recognised need to replace some of the older Transport vehicles and currently Fleet are reviewing this too.

Department of Health Transport Contract
There are five listed organisations contained within the contract, those being Medic One, Medical Edge, National Patient Transport, Wilson and SJA. Senior Management have been in contact with these organisations on a regular basis. Their appears to be plenty of movement for contracts.

Recruiting More Staff
There have been some issues with application numbers to increase the Transport ranks. SJA have identified the difficulty in attracting new people to the organisation with other agencies recruiting to fill their contracts. Much interest for hiring Transport Officers is contained on

Agenda Items

RASOs Working With Transport Officers
An email from Senior Management was sent to all Transport Officers advising them of RASOs joining the fleet. Many members contacted their Transport Delegates raising their concerns over this new development. The AEAWA find it hard to understand with SJAs opening statement about returning to pre COVID staffing and workloads, now all of a sudden, we are placing RASOs into Transport Vehicles.

Concerns were raised on the level of training these officers would undertake pre turning up for shifts, it was noted many of the EHS RASOs working with Paramedics were not even trained in using the stretchers properly, many of them had not even seen the back of an Ambulance which resulted in numerous lost time working injuries amongst Paramedics. SJA are to review this.

APTC Times and Availability
This has been appreciated by many of our Transport members. The decisions made regarding hospital-to-hospital transfer priorities are now more appropriate, however APTC do not currently work 24/7, and crews have found hospitals are returning to normal practices when APTC staff are not working. SJA have stated there is a strong desire to have this operating 24/7.

The delay has been in recruiting two more Paramedics into APTC, there aren’t enough to take two off the road to fill the positions. When this changes there will be a push to constantly staff this around the clock.

Pre-Shift Checks
There was some initial confusion regarding this point as SJA came back with what needed to be checked before you commence your shift. The AEAWA reiterated that this was about crews not being given adequate time to check their vehicles. In the past it was 20 minutes, but now the workload has increased, they often find themselves being contacted 2 minutes into their shift to get rolling.

The AEAWA suggest (as we did in the Paramedic pre-shift checks) to advise what the organisation wants us to check, then allot a time to those checks, and crews will move once the checks have been completed.

Reasonable Overtime
This was raised as members particularly in the country regions were given jobs (in some cases 7-hour turn arounds) two hours before their shift finished. When officers said no to the unreasonable request, they often felt pushed into doing the call. They advice was to contact PTS communications and advise them that you cannot do these shift extensions, if you have no luck then contact the a Transport Manager.

Members are advised to contact the AEAWA on [email protected] if your request to finish on time is denied. The AEAWA stated that their needs to be a focus to get crews home on time, and low staffing levels is not the fault of the officer. We realise some officers welcome the overtime; however, the organisation needs to understand the work life/family life balance and assist.

Reporting Vehicle Faults and Damage
SJA would like to see more officers filling out crash packs and notifying of any vehicle faults so that these issues can be rectified quickly. SJA stated that this is a NO FAULT process, and that they realise many of the officers completing the forms may not have even been involved in the incident (they may have just found a problem).

Handle of Wheelchair Vehicle Issues
A fault with the grab handle on the wheelchair vehicles have been identified and raised at the previous Transport JCC. SJA noted a supply issue in fixing this problem and when this is sorted the vehicles may be off the road for some time whilst these are being installed. Further updates to come.

Completing an ePCR
Members have noted some frustration over completing a full ePCR with two full sets of vitals when a patient is simply going home, some patients have gotten a Taxi to hospital and are suddenly required to have a range of vitals completed. SJA believe that a Working Group with Clinical Governance should be established to see if this can be changed. The AEAWA are supportive of making these changes and will advise the membership of what the next steps are.

Transport Vehicle Mobile Phones
Many vehicles do not have two mobile phones in use. This is a safety and contactability issue. SJA are in the process of placing more phones into vehicles with only one phone; except for one operator vehicles.

Baby Blankets
There appears to be some back and forth on this issue, on one hand Clinical Governance say that this piece of equipment is safe and approved for use for all Transport Officers, and on the other the company who makes them state it should ONLY BE USED IN EMERGENCIES!

The AEAWA has advised members not to use this piece of equipment in the non-emergency setting until the onus falls on the organisation and not the officer if something goes wrong. Your committee believes that if a vehicle collision occurs and a newborn is placed on a piece of equipment not authorised by the manufacturer for non-emergency use then questions will be asked on why this accident occurred. Our concern is that the officer may be placed in fault.

Next Meeting

AEAWA Paramedic JCC Minutes from August 3rd, 2022

Meeting commenced
09:30-11:30 on August 3rd, 2023

Committee Attendee’s
John Thomas and Lee Waller

Committee Apologies
Mike Hardwick, Dave Higgins and Conrad Fairhead.

SJA Attendees
Joe Cuthbertson, Rene Anderson, Karren Stewart, Joel Moore and Justin Fonte.

Opening Statement

Metro BCP Level
SJA commenced with stating that at the moment the organisation sits at BCP level 3 and all managerial roles such as Clinical/AMs/HLMs/ORMs have been working on road. Basically, if an individual in these roles hold an AHPRA paramedic registration, they have been utilised to work on road until the limited numbers of staffing levels is resolved.

Country BCP Level
Esperance and Newman are currently at BCP level 4; whilst Broome and the Wheatbelt remain at BCP level 3 along with the Southwest and Kalgoorlie (which is expected to drop to BCP level 2 shortly).

Call Volume Above Expectations
Currently the workload has increased by 7.5% which is above the estimates SJA had determined, this coupled with ramping well within excess of 5,000 hours is putting plenty of pressure on standby capacity which currently sits at 26%.

Low Urgency Transport Vehicle in Geraldton
This has been placed in the region to free up paramedic response to the community as paramedics were generally out doing low priority calls when emergency calls came in. The success of this ‘pilot’ will be tabled at future JCC meetings.

Regional Ramping
WACHS and SJA (Simon Hughes) have been working together to reduce ramping in country regions. These meeting have just commenced but information about these meetings will be sent out once available.

Difficulty in Filling Country Locations
Permanency/Postings/ or Country Relief vacancies have been difficult to fill recently. Members would have noticed that vacancies placed on the intranet are often re-advertised numerous times, and in some cases have gone to AP1’s and even AO’s in Bunbury.

Discussions with SJA will commence on the ability to attract officers to hard to fill locations. The AEAWA are advocates for role incentives in order to attract officers to these locations. SJA would like to meet later to discuss the possibility for these positions to be filled with officers on a ‘drive in drive out’ or ‘fly in fly out’ roster. To date there is no firm plan and ideas have been sent through to the Directors in order to commence further discussions.

Winter Planning
SJA have stated that this Winter could be difficult with an upwards ramping trend and potential COVID-19 spikes and also the normal winter respiratory issues. The focus is on having resources to meet the demand. SJA are currently reviewing a low acuity response model in order to free paramedics up for emergency calls. More information to come soon.

Trends in ramping are increasing, however shift extensions across the fleet have in fact decreased. SJA stated the 224 shift extensions on the day shift were down from this time last year (305 hours to 240 hours); 224 shift extensions on the night shift were down from this time last year (115 hours to 100 hours), and the 4×4 day vehicles were about the same (190 hours per week).

Safety Update
Due to COVID-19 many of the planned security updates have either had delays or have ceased completely. Issues with computer chips for CCTV have been detrimentally impacted. Long delays are expected. Merriwa Depot is the next to be secured due to multiple security issues at the station.

The Recruitment Process
As most would be aware issues with the recruitment process seen the formation of a Recruitment Committee during the recent Paramedic/Ambulance Officers EBA negotiations. A draft document around the new processes would be circulated and feedback provided from the AEAWA. More information to follow soon.

Action Items

The CPAT Vehicle
Volks Wagon and the engineers are reviewing the vehicle specs and changes will be requited to be signed off by the Department of Transport. There have been lengthy delays. The Working Group has been in a hiatus for some time due to COVID delays. SJA are to re-open a new Working Group, and anyone on the previous group can reapply to the new one.

Stryker Stretcher Update
Currently there are 38 Ambulances with Stryker’s on board, every depot has at least one stretcher while a total of 9 depots have two. There has been some confusion around the retro fitting of the Stryker’s. Some have been told these are only placed into new builds, when some depots have had them fitted into existing vehicles and some brand-new vehicles which are supposed to be fitted with the Stryker’s have had Ferno’s placed in them.

Further updates on the rollouts will be made available to officers shortly, however delays have been occurring and Mercedes have stated they are having issues accessing new vehicles.

Due to high workloads and limited staffing (that right situation normal) discussions occurred in relation to the commencement of CEP. Basically, the organisation would like to delay the program until more staffing arrive. There would be an issue trying to facilitate CEP in the current environment. More information to follow soon.

Low Staffing Levels
A discussion took place around SJA depleting 224 resources. Basically, current practice seems to be move staff off the night shifts to work on these Demand Rosters (day times) and back fill the 224 nights with overtime; not as many are taking this up as expected. The AEAWA stated that all 224 positions should be filled then offer the overtime to fill the day shifts, there would be more takers!

Volunteer Fatigue Monitoring
Officers in the country have stated they often come to work and the volunteer they are working with have come of a volunteer night shift or have been working extensively before shift commencement. Its difficult for those officers to ascertain if their officer is fatigued. SJA also stated it is difficult to monitor and currently there is some work in the background regarding fatigue monitoring across the organisation.

The AEAWA would like to advise all members that if they feel unsafe due to your off-sider being fatigue they should raise this with management and then contact the AEAWA for further assistance.

Single Officer Response
On many occasions’ officers in the country, who can not get a volunteer partner have often attend the call by themselves with assistance from another agency, RFDS/WAPOL/Nurses etc. The AEAWA would like to advise members that these external employees more than likely NOT trained or authorised to use our equipment and any issue that eventuates from this type of response may create further complications. For further information please contact an AEAWA delegate.

Recurrent Closures of Mandurah Depot
On many occasions’ there are no crews or just one crew in the Mandurah area, a location of more than 100,000 people. This lack of resourcing places pressures on the surrounding fleet (Dawesville/Pinjarra/Secret Harbor etc). SJA were asked why this is constantly occurring and what is the plan to fix it.

Basically, it’s due to officers in that depot are in country positions or other secondments and have not been back filled. There are few officers that live in that area so it is often difficult to fill as employees would need to travel long distances to work there, and this basically goes against the fatigue monitoring. Further discussions will take place on how to get officers to work in that location will occur.

WAPOL Declining Jobs
Lately as WAPOL appear to be extremely busy too, crews have been advised by SOC managers that there will be no Police assistance due to no crews available. Sometimes crews are stating they are feeling pushed to respond to calls that are flagged with no assistance.

This is a Safety Issue and if crews feel unsafe, they are to only enter violent or flagged scenes once it had been deemed safe by WAPOL, there delay is not the AEAWA’s concern, your safety is. SJA are in agreeance and have also suggested contacting the DM or CSP and advising them that the Police need to attend.

SJA sent out an email in February to all Senior SOC managers advising them that crew safety is paramount and that crews should not be pushed to respond to these types of scenes.

Support Person Being Denied
Some members have advised the AEAWA that they have been initially denied a Support Person or been told they do not require one for this meeting. On some occasions they have been told that if they bring a Support Person to the meeting this will automatically escalate the issue. This is not the case, a Support Person or AEAWA Delegate are there to support you. This is to ensure that your rights are protected. Many of these simple ‘chats’ come back at a later date as a file note, and it is advisable that if you are being spoken to regarding an issue at work you are well within your rights to be supported.

SJA have stated they would always offer a Support Person whenever the employee requests one, and in most cases, it is offered before the meeting commences.

Paramedics Declined OT as RASOs are Working at the Location
This is becoming less of an occurrence, however there are still reports of paramedics calling in for OT and being denied, only to find out that a RASO was rostered in the position. SJA have stated that Paramedic/Ambulance Officer overtime is the first preference and any time this process is not being followed SJA would like to know times, dates, location and who denied the overtime.

Priority 3’s Do We or Don’t We!
An email was sent out stating that Paramedic crews are not doing P3 calls. This created some confusion across shifts with some following the email and other not following it. At the meeting that email was not known about, it was an email sent to SOC and that crews are to be dispatched when required for low priority calls. Obviously with the planned move of PTS being in the SOC this should eliminate many of these ‘take home’ P3s.

Students Failing Transition or Intermediate
A clear direction was requested from the College as there is a lot of confusion around relating to the failing of either the Transition or Intermediate courses. It appears that some students have been told different information, some believe they have a chance to resit the school, whilst others have been provided no such opportunity. We understand circumstances are different, but this seems widespread across multiple schools.

SJA do understand that it is dependent on what school was failed, student attitude and marks in other areas etc. But will chat to the college in order to eliminate future confusion and perhaps produce a document so that the student know from Day One would happen if they fail.

Increased Staffing Levels
SJA have stated there will be an extra 60 Direct Entrants in the next three upcoming Schools (August through to October) and 70 students in the new year. There is a preference to look for Direct Entrants, however with so many other Ambulance Services looking for the same individuals, this is harder to achieve.

Next Meeting

AEAWA SOC JCC Minutes from July 28th, 2022

Meeting commenced
13:00-15:30 on July 28rd, 2022

Committee Attendee’s
Lee Waller, Troy Bates. Justin Brenna, Liz Jaggard and Kami Evans.

Committee Apologies
Kam Phagura

SJA Attendees
Wil White, Rene Anderson and Stephanie Freemantle

SJA Updates
SJA opened the meeting by stating they are very happy with the performance of staff in the room and understand the pressures employees are under.

New Staffing Levels
Unfortunately, approximately 50% of the new call-takers have either left or have not passed the assessments so there are fewer numbers than expected to assist with the workload. SJA believe that the recruitment process needs to be altered in order to recruit the right people to the position and have engaged people in the room to assist in the recruitment process. They know the job better, so their input should help in getting the right people.

Operational Support Officers
The role is now permanent and is a great outcome for everyone as it will be seen as a good transition for all. Officers could effectively transition from a communications officer to an OSO and vice versa, some of the OSOs have already stated they would be happy move into a communications officer position. That training will commence at a later date. In future recruitment processes if more communications officers are required then the OSOs will be given the opportunity to apply for the position.

SJA would like to see the OSOs placed into the next Communications Officers Certified Agreement, during the negotiations.

The Low Acuity Response (LAR)
The LAR low acuity response model winter strategy is trying to ensure we send the right resources to the low acuity patients (ie transport or medics). PTS dispatch will be in SOC until the end of the winter. We will have more people in the room when this occurs. Training areas or the old clinical cell can be utilised if there are too many in the room. This is expected to be a small period of time.

The Clinical Hub
Members would like to know what is happening with the Clinical Hub and how this will affect numbers within the room, i.e., will officers need to move out of a location so that others can be placed in these areas? How many people does SJA need to fulfill the clinical role within the room? SJA have employed x2 Clinical Nurse Specialists and two Registered Nurses to join the clinical Hub, so that patients can be diverted away from calling ambulances. Clinicians will review the cohort of low priority patients. The secondary triage tool is also being reviewed. Numbers will be reviewed at future managerial meetings.

The Perspex screens in the room
These have all been removed as many officers complained of the excessive noise and the reflective glare of the screens.

Uniform committee
An EOI for SOC employees to join the uniform committee will be sent out to all officers soon. Uniforms will be aligned to the greater organisational uniform. A survey will go out to all SOC staff regarding uniforms to gain an understanding of what employees want. The survey questions have not been written yet, so it may take some time before this process is up and running.

SOC Innovation Group
The AEAWA wanted to understand why members were not being released for any meetings. Some officers were able to attend on shift, others were told it was too busy for them to attend (even though the workload is always going to be extreme in the room).

SJA have stated that they do want officers to attend these meetings. If an officer is scheduled for a workplace meeting and they are advised, they cannot attend should contact Wil White or the AEAWA to organise being released.

Crew Breaks
Our Radio Dispatchers would like a better understanding of how crew breaks work, especially now they will start happening with paramedic crews. There is no information on how, when, what circumstances can these breaks be given to crews. Some breaks are occurring 60-minutes before shift ends.

SJA stated that with the PTS leader in the room, this process will be easier to follow, as breaks will be organised and assigned from them. The AEAWA highlighted that there is no policy for our members to follow. The CAD updates for meal breaks has occurred and feedback will happen soon.

Breakout Rooms
The breakout rooms have been raised numerous times, and as there has been an increase in people within the room, this issue is at the forefront again. Even though there appears to be office space to utilise as a breakout room, they are planned to be used very soon.

There is an acknowledgement from SJA that we have outgrown the space, any increases in the next year will place us at capacity. They are aware and are reviewing this, a refurbishment of another building may be needed in the near future. The DMs have been instructed not to use the breakout rooms and the feedback from across all shifts is that this process is being followed.

Shift Start Times
SJA have been approached again with officers commencing shift at 07:00 and leaving at 06:30 and not completing their 12 hours, this is placing extra pressures on staff in the room and is unfair. SJA state the option is to develop CAD to monitor booking on and booking off times. The concept of a live ‘war board’ in the SOC has been reviewed, this will also have times associated to CAD logins available.

Some believe this is too ‘big brother’ and would prefer the DMs to discuss this matter with the officers who are doing this practice. SJA stated that the DMs will be given the empowerment to discus this issue with employees that are leaving early.

Demand Rostering
These rosters are being reviewed at the moment so that more staff can be there in periods of higher workloads. To this point there is no information to discuss, but further updates will be provided shortly.

Abusive Callers
SOC personnel can now access MyOsh and use the Communications Officers appropriate tool to fill out. There is now a drop-down menu installed on the system. Officers are urged (if they are abused) to report it.

The AEAWA stated the members in the room want a simple flowchart that is easy to reference, so they can transfer these calls to the DM or disconnect ASAP. SJA will get back to us shortly. SJA did state that “If abusive callers aren’t able to comply then SJA want you off the phone”.

Parliamentary Inquiry
SJA have tabled a response for the Department of Health to review. This is to understand what standing committees’ recommendations will be delivered……….The AEAWA responded hopefully all of them!

SOC Country Managers
Managers working in country recently have been dealing certain calls such as fires, all of a sudden more managers show up. They talk and discuss points and become quite loud and disruptive. Call-takers are struggling to hear calls.

The AEAWA suggest that if this occurs again the DM should be made aware, as the DM has the authority to regain some control back in the room.

ANCs taking Triple-0 overflow
Many ANCs are asking when they are going to be removed from taking overflow triple-0 calls. The organisation gave a commitment in May 2021 that when the OSO roles were implemented ANCs would not be taking these calls. Country and metro RTMs who are PROQA trained are not expected to fulfil this role, why are ANCs required to?

Over a year later, with the OSO program well established these members are still doing this. Members would like to know the organisations commitment to the cessation of this practice. SJA stated they are required to log in to take calls until the numbers within the room are sorted. The ANC is looked upon as a surge call-taking position by SJA.

Correct utilisation of the Pools within SOC
The AEAWA have been approached by members stating that the correct process for filling roles within the room are not being followed. In recent times roles such as the RTM have acted in DM positions with minimum to no training for the officer taking up the position. RTM positions have been filled by dispatchers who are not even in the RTM pool.

There are also cases of country RTMs filling metro RTM positions, some of these officers are not even in the metro RTM pool. Members would like to know the procedure for filling these positions as roles such as the DM have been offered to employees who have had no training for that position.

What happens is people get the tap on the shoulder to do a position then they have an advantage when the job application comes out. SJA will review to these processes and enter into further discussion.

Caller of the Month
Yes, this is great but there is no reward for staff who constantly do the right thing, we acknowledge a good call, but not attitude, behaviours, punctuality etc. Members are saying they want the positivity recognised. Complaints and poor audits are provided regularly, but nothing good ever seems to come out. There is little praise and little thanks in the room. More acknowledgement is needed. Members are saying that the DMs are too busy to reward good attributes.

It was also mentioned that there is a massive disconnect between SJA and the Academy. Regarding the CPR pin and the Stalk club the Academy accept ‘compliant’ calls to be eligible, but SJA will only send in ‘high compliant’ calls. This means fewer staff are recognised for their efforts, purely because SJA believe the standards should be above what the Academy want.

The AEAWA believes this needs to be changed, if ‘high compliance’ is the expectation for everything then let’s start with that expectation with employee numbers and filling the rosters.

Dispatcher and call-taker of the year
The IAED run an annual recognition of the “dispatcher of the year”. St John run this by asking for nominations for “call-taker of the month”, which is then voted for by a committee from across the organisation. They then select and send a nomination to the IAED for consideration at the Navigator conference for Australasia. The organisation appears to have left these recognition’s in limbo due to the pandemic, but there is more and more pressure placed on those doing the work in the room.

Other agencies seem to nominate multiple nominees, with even the Wellington Free Ambulance nominating more than one, and yet the largest (by land mass) ambulance service in the world only recognises and sends one nomination. There appears to be no nomination from SJA for 2021. So not one call taker was deemed to have done an outstanding job within the room.

This is why there appears to be a massive ‘us’ and ‘them’ culture, as no recognition for the role is ever given. Are SJA going to amend this and start recognising the great effort in the room and create a better culture of recognition for the officers?

SJA will take this onboard and get back to us to do more nominations from now on.

Lack of Policies
The AEAWA have been made aware of certain emails that are sent to SOC staff outlining rapid changes to normal procedures with no consultation or policy for staff to refer too. An example being recently an email was sent stating that paramedics, due to workload are not to do P3 calls. This is leaving dispatchers confused on what to do with these calls as the email is often misinterpreted by various employees and managers.

The organisation’s delivery methods need refining. It appears unless you are fully aware of Yammer, Face Book, emails and the Connect system you will miss vital information before you start your shift. This is inappropriate.

SJA have to make the decision – does an email from a manager/director conveniently send out at 16:00 on a Friday afternoon override all current policies and procedures? The AEAWA believe to limit confusion SJA have to review this method of staff communication as a priority.

Broken Breaks
Many members have approached the AEAWA stating that their breaks are being broken by managers in the room telling them their break is finished and they need to answer calls. Some members have even been spoken to about leaving the building on a break. This is unacceptable. This is your break; it has been negotiated and signed by the Fair Work Commission. The workload is due to a gross organisational lack of staffing NOT due to you getting a coffee. It’s your break…. Take it. Any issues please contact the AEAWA ASAP.

SJA agreed and DMs have been directed that employees are to take their designated breaks.

Staffing levels within the SOC and Wanagra HUB
Members would like to see a staffing plan and an understanding of how these new people will be placed into the room to ensure there are enough trainers /mentors to facilitate. Is the organisation able to advise the current staffing plan, and how these new staffing levels will coincide with increased call volumes?

SJA have stated there needs to be 6 dispatchers and 10 call-takers per shift and there is no preference to work at either the SOC or Wangara. There is an organisational expectation that both the SOC and Wangara Hub will not be closed unless there is a critical failure of service, or it is being deep cleaned.

RTM located in the same location as Radio Dispatchers
Many Radio Dispatchers are telling us how difficult it is having RTMs located at the Wangara Hub. Often there are delays with dispatching as the RTM in a different location contacts the Dispatcher long after the crew has been dispatched asking for a different crew to do the call. This leads to frustration in the room and often crews are being placed on calls then re-dispatched to other locations.

This will be reviewed by SJA and will be discussed at the next JCC.

Next meeting

AEAWA Committee Minutes from May 19th, 2022

Meeting officially opened by the AEAWA President
10:00-12:30 on May 19, 2022

Committee Attendee’s
John Thomas, Donelle Carver, Lee Waller, Dave Higgins, Mike Hardwick, Dave Abbott, Conrad Fairhead and Jon Flockton.

Committee Apologies
Chris Smith and Dave Bryant

Previous Minutes
Passed by Dave Higgins and Conrad Fairhead.

AEAWA Membership
There has been a total of 36 new members signed this month.

Current EBA Negotiations
The AEAWA discussed the latest SJA offers for the Ambulance Officers/ Paramedics Agreement. This information can be found here on the Paramedics EBA page on the AEAWA website.

Paramedic/AO Overtime Denial
Many members have contacted the Committee over being denied overtime as RASO’s have been scheduled to work at that location. SJA have given us the assurance that Paramedics and AO’s will be the first employees to be allocated to the roster. However, many members are stating that when they phone rosters (knowing that there is a Paramedic rostered with a RASO) they are told there is no overtime available.

The AEAWA will contact SJA in writing to ascertain why the agreed process has not been followed.

Special Leave Denial
Numerous members have contacted the AEAWA stating that they are either being denied the opportunity to take Special Leave or have had their scheduled Special Leave period declined. The reason given is that it has been a direction to cancel all Special Leave due to the ‘Operational Requirement’ rationale and that the current BCP level cannot facilitate officers to take this type of leave.

The AEAWA contacted their Legal Team over this recent unilateral and unconsulted organisational decision, and the feedback was it was a reasonable stance due to the current state of emergency, and the unprecedented furlough of staff. The decision on those grounds along with SJA’s increase in their BCP meant challenging this decision would not work.

However, our current Certified Agreement does state that if you have a positive leave balance and can find someone to do you shift, this can be accommodated. Other options are ‘Shift Swaps’ or ‘Personal Leave’ if it can be justified and supported with a Statutory Declaration.

ANY members who are denied these options are advised to contact the AEAWA as we may be able to assist.

SJA Supported by DFES, WAPOL and the DOH
Due to unprecedented failures in the system and the inability to respond to patients within the community Senior Police Officers and DOH personnel will assist in the supporting of the services response ability. Police and the DOH will assist in staff shortages as a result of profound under resourcing and staff off due to COVID.

DFES personnel (48 in total) will attend training sessions, focussing on the following

  • Primary Survey Introduction
  • Infection Control and Safety
  • Manual handling
  • IMPACT CPR and the Corpuls
  • Stryker Stretcher Training
  • Ambulance Familiarisation

Although these measures are temporary and are only in place due to the shortages, the AEAWA would like to welcome their assistance during this time. We will always fight to bolster our ranks with classifications contained in our Certified Agreement and not external agencies.

Media Comments
As a result of a statement made in relation to paramedics not ramping if the service reaches crisis levels has made the AEAWA write to the membership about the potential hazards of leaving patients at hospital with no organisational directive. The AEAWA message can be seen here.

Profound Understaffing
Under resourcing, vehicles down and depots closed… A familiar occurrence within our service. Many members would like to know when we are going to see more paramedics, Communications Officers and Transport Officers. SOC are running shifts with two Radio Dispatchers and 5 Call-Takers for the entire State. Many of our members in SOC were upset with the CEO’s and Ambulance Service Directors comments at the recent Standing Committee meeting regarding 16 call-takers constantly rostered each shift.

The AEAWA will always fight more personnel, so we are not all working at such a frantic pace to service our community. We believe that years of advising SJA we need more personnel fell on deaf ears, however it is hoped the upcoming Report into the Ambulance Service will discover what we have all known for years, a broken system and an under resourced service.

The Recruitment Committee
The AEAWA have brought this claim back into the EBA negotiations in order to reach an Agreement. SJA have given us the assurance that they will review the process we have put forward and will develop an understanding in order to settle our issues with the process. More to follow with drafting of this clause.

The Uniform Committee
The AEAWA have put forward Jesse George and Mike Hardwick as representatives, with John Thomas and Lee Waller available as proxies. This committee will feedback the progress to the membership. Any members who may like to make recommendations can email [email protected].

Correspondence In
There has been numerous correspondence with the Deputy President at the Fair Work Commission relating to unresolved items within the EBA.

Correspondence Out
As above

Next Committee Meeting
The AEAWA Committee will meet again Friday 17th June 2022 (10:00-12:30).

Meeting officially closed by the President
The Committee will re-convene at the scheduled date.

AEAWA Paramedic JCC Minutes from May 4th, 2022

Meeting commenced
10:00-14:00 on May 4th, 2022

Committee Attendee’s
John Thomas and Lee Waller

Committee Apologies
Mike Hardwick, Dave Higgins, Donelle Carver and Conrad Fairhead.

SJA Attendees
Joe Cuthbertson, Karren Stewart, Kathryn Smith, Joel Moore and Natalie Braxton.

Opening Statement
SJA commenced with stating that significant progress had been done regarding the Recruitment Committee (aka progression). And a brief overview of organisational statics was discussed. SJA provided the following.

  • 510 hours of ramping last month (April 2022) up 100 hours from this time last year.
  • Fit to sit patients have increased by 38%.
  • Multi-patient take overs have increased by 30%.
  • The ETOCH Pilot has had a significant impact in reducing shift extensions.
  • This Pilot is to end soon, and a Report will be presented to ascertain if it should continue.
  • 224 vehicles are doing approximately 185 hours p/w of shift extensions up 100 hours from this time last year.
  • 4×4 vehicles are doing approximately 150 hours p/w of shift extensions up 30 hours from this time last year.

Paramedic Safety
SJA commenced by stating there have been 755 officers who have attended and completed the Violence and Aggression Training Programme during CEP. This is evident by the increases in reportable near misses and actual cases now being reported. This is due to SJA believing that staff are now far more likely to report these instances. SJA went onto reiterate to all staff the importance of reporting instances of violence towards staff.

Safer Depots
Property are reviewing certain locations to ascertain the levels of safety for personnel. Currently Merriwa depot (which have reported an increase in near misses over the past few years) is the current priority.

The AEAWA would like to state if you feel your working location is unsafe in anyway they should list the reasons why to [email protected] and your committee will ensure it is reviewed by the organisation.

The Corpuls
Under instruction of the Deputy President of Fair Work discussions were to take place over the data capture of audio recordings held by SJA. The AEAWA have long thought that this would be used as a disciplinary tool by the organisation and not a training one. Feedback in relation to the internal Corpuls document will be discussed at another meeting.

Medication Checks
A small group of officers were wanted to review the process around checks. There were no nominations so this item will be placed back into the Paramedic JCC.

Country Housing
Many officers have approached the AEAWA expressing disappointment over finding housing whilst on country postings. SJA have admitted they are finding suitable housing in the location either extremely expensive or non-existent. This is unlikely to change any time soon. SJA are committed to reviewing more options.

ANY member who finds themselves with this issue should contact the AEAWA so that we can assist you through this process.

Stryker Stretcher Rollout
Currently every depot in the metropolitan area has at least one Stryker, over the coming months this is expected to grow to two. There are also three more Stryker’s to be fitted this week. The rollout has been a bit slower in Country regions as RFDS and NETS have had teething issues with the joining of their equipment onto ours. NETS and RFDS are currently addressing this problem. Most of the staff have been trained in the Stryker, and from this point that training will fall back to the College.

More PTS vehicles to enter the fleet
SJA have increased the Transport fleet, meaning that there should be fewer instances of Ambulance Transport Officers requiring to work out of Ambulances. This will impact the number of vehicles available for ambulance crews utilise.

The AEAWA would like to hear from our Transport Members if there are any instances were crews cannot respond to calls due to the vehicle they would normally respond in has been allocated to a Transport crew. 

Portable Radios
There appears to be a move to hasten the implementation of the portable radios. SJA wanted a discussion with the AEAWA at today’s meeting to occur.

The AEAWA reiterated that due to almost 30% of our SOC colleagues on the radio receiving Acoustic Shock Incidents, we have no real appetite to discuss this topic until the entire radio network has been upgraded and has been declared safe for us to use. Our SOC members have been instructed by SJA that the system has NOT been fixed, therefore a directive has been given to not use headsets whilst on radio. We feel this is a safety issue that needs rectifying before discussions around the portable radios occur.

The Uniform Committee
This project has been implemented by the Procurement Team and a working group has been established. More information will be provided soon.

Representing the AEAWA will be Tania Hill and Jesse George. Their Proxies will be Lee Waller and Mike Hardwick. The AEAWA have chosen proxies as many meetings occur on shift and delegates (due to workload) are rarely released. Proxies ensure the meetings continue and the completion of the process doesn’t drag on.

New Demand Vehicles
The AEAWA questioned the number of demand vehicles is over the agreed total that was discussed at the Fair Work Commission. Questions were asked around who decides who gets a go on these vehicles? Does the list sit at rosters? Is there Manager Involvement? What is the process?

SJA stated that many variables are used, yes it does sit with rosters, it is a list that is ultimately used. The AEAWA stated there were 24 224 vehicles not filled, do we have a list for those? SJA did state that 224 vacancies will be filled first. We find it strange when 6 224 vehicles are closed but 10 Demand Trucks get filled. The AEAWA spoke about cases of individuals who have been on the Demand Vehicle roster list for 12-months and have never been placed on it. We would like more transparency around this.

Working with Children Checks
The feedback from the Department of Communities is that Paramedics, as they only enter and leave the hospitals in a relatively short time span (obviously no one has explained ramping to them) do not require these checks. SJA are aligning with those recommendations with the box we check under our AHPRA registration (reportable instances) as being sufficient evidence. The comment was made that SJA should strive to be over and above the legislation.

LMS Courses
Basically there is no time to complete these courses on shift, and no safe ergonomically assigned area to do them in. The AEAWA are not opposed to our members learning, and improving their knowledge base, we just acknowledge the obvious. If there is no time at work, it is done at work (and we are taken of the road to do it) or in our own time (if the officer agrees to it and overtime rates are paid). SJA appear to not want to entertain the OT idea.

Currently there has been the interest of SJA during the Recruitment Process meetings to have officers complete the LMS Training Packages in order to gain more points during the progression stages. We believe this is the start of doing these training packages in your own time with no payments for doing so.

COVID Absenteeism
Current data shows 148 COVID related personnel have been off in the previous 7 days which is why the rise in the BCP has occurred as this affects cycle times.

Next Meeting

AEAWA Transport JCC Minutes May 3rd, 2022

Meeting commenced
10:00-14:00 on May 3rd, 2022

Committee Attendee’s
Lee Waller

Committee Apologies
Jon Noble

SJA Attendees
Natalie Braxton, Alan Cline, Tony Fitzgerald and John Backo

Opening Statement
A request for input across the agenda items was requested, to gauge the on-road feeling of staff. SJA stated some things have been lost during communication. Further JCC’s it’s been requested that each group place on 6-8 agenda items each so that we can move through the items more quickly. Some items have not been resolved and other items have been on hold for a long time. A commitment to establish a priority agenda list was agreed to. However, all items should be reviewed at some stage to allay any concerns across the fleet.

SJA have been successful in all areas of the contracts, however for some they are not the exclusive tenders, as many other parties have been included. Online bookings will predominantly stay. Calls in may be changed if we cannot attend these calls, there may be an opportunity to change the pickup times or decline the call if resources are limited. SDS, Wilsons and NPT are also involved, and they will most likely attend if we don’t.

Competition is now in the marketplace more than ever before. SJA have lost some work in the past 18-months as ambulance are not doing that work due to emergency workload. RFDS work is also being discussed regarding the contract, between SJA, Health and RFDS. No wheelchair transport in the new contract under the Department of Health will occur (approx. 80% of the wheelchair vehicle workload), these patients will be placed in PTV’s. If it’s a hospital pick up or the patient is being transported from hospital to a facility, the new contract will not allow these patients to be transported in the usual SJA wheelchair vehicle.

SJA want to scale up their Transport numbers to fulfil these contracts. A review of casuals (required hours) is being reviewed along with the cycle times, to see how they can improve. Questions such as are we driving too long to scenes, are we being overly ramped, or are there other hospital delays occurring effecting our times will be reviewed. Basically, are these issues related to the hospitals, our dispatching or a mixture of both.

Four new vehicles are close to being made available over the next few weeks. They are an addition to the fleet, not replacements. The current BCP level is being reviewed for Ambulance Transport Officers, SJA have stated that the absentee rate for PTS is a lot lower than expected, hence why the review is to occur.

The Community Transport Officer role has been impacted; a greatly reduced scope of transport is being discussed. Further information will be made available at a later date. However, much of the calls they were doing have been altered.

Country Transport Officers can request roster changes. In the past this been excluded for our country members. SJA have stated they will review these requests when they are made aware. For future JCCs there may be an opportunity for PTS comms to be involved in the meetings. This way a dispatch perspective can paly a part in the discussions.

New Baby Blankets
These will be placed into the new vehicles; they are DHS blankets. When the older ones come in, when the vehicles are being serviced, they will also be replaced. If crews need to request the baby capsule so the patient can be transported safely, rather than using the blanket they should do so.

The AEAWA would like to remind the members that only approved (by the manufacturer) options should be used. The current Baby Blanket can only be used in ‘emergency situations. Crews should arrange a capsule and not feel pressured to transport the patient.

Fatigue Management
RASOs coming in to work at SJA after they have completed their full-time work. Some officers have worked 17 days straight. SJA have stated they should have a 9-hour break before they commence their SJA shift. This is for employee safety.

If any member believes they may be at risk should contact the Transport Team Leader ASAP to discuss, if they are not happy with the answer, they should contact an AEAWA Delegate immediately.

SJA Contacting Casual Officers
SJA have been contacting casuals that have not worked for extensive periods of time to ascertain if they are still happy to work for the organisation. Some officers have left, and others are only working four shifts a year. These officers have been encouraged to work more hours, to stay current in-patient contact. There are too many casuals on the books that have not completed shifts in a significantly long time.

If you are a casual Ambulance Transport Officer and have been contacted regarding your reduced work capacity, please contact the AEAWA ([email protected]) for any required support.

Shift Start Times
Employees are not given appropriate times to check their vehicles. SJA have stated that if you commence your shift at 07:00, that is when you start. A time-in-motion check will be investigated by SJA to see how long a vehicle check should occur (obviously vehicles will be in different states but at least a time frame for specific checks should occur). This is similar to a claim within the Paramedic/Ambulance Officer EBA negotiations.

During a recent discussion with the AEAWA and the Fair Wok Commissioner SJA DO NOT want to pay overtime for crews to attend work early to check their vehicle. This creates issues when you start your shift on time and are requested to roll out at your start time. A study will occur soon to see exactly how long it should take to check your vehicle. This time will be allotted at the commencement of your shift. Further information will be provided.

Section 4 – Not for Resus
St John of God Hospitals will no longer be filling out these forms. So crews will no longer have the form issue within this health setting. This item has now been resolved due to this and has been removed from the list of items. If any further instances arise, the AEAWA will return this topic to the agenda.

Team Leaders at on-road Stations
Management have had a lot more contact with staff on road. The recent Culture Survey (last years) said that management were not on-road, they were not contactable. Team Leaders now have laptops and are working in multiple areas so they can be seen by more employees. Some steps to address the survey responses have occurred and others are under development. These will be communicated at a later date.

Community Transport and Inappropriate Jobs
Grayland’s jobs with escorts and interhospital transfers have occurred and some terminally ill patients have been transported. Formed patients (over the last 3 months) have been tasked with an escort. This is not appropriate, and a review should occur regarding these types of calls.

As the scope has been greatly reduced, this should no longer occur. This item has been removed, again if it arises, please contact the AEAWA for it to be re-added.

PTS Dispatch During Jobs (raised in the previous JCC)
Dispatch often calling whilst they are dealing with patients, some crews cannot answer the call, and officers are being called repeatedly. One case a crew were wearing gowns and could not answer the call and received numerous calls. AEAWA – Crews are not happy as nearly every 20 minutes they are getting a call. There was an acknowledgment that ‘welfare checks’ are required in the community, but many of these calls are occurring whilst crews are in hospitals. It appears there has been a directive to call crews every 20-minutes to see what the holdup is. SJA were going to review.

The AEAWA raised that this is still occurring and provided numerous examples. SJA stated that if crews can not physically answer the phone – don’t answer it. As soon as the crew is able, call comms and let them know and just advise you couldn’t answer at that time.

Ready Now Calls (raised in the previous JCC)
Calls are getting brought forward to ‘ready now’ and the patient is never ready. Sometimes crews are driving 30 minutes to a ready now call only to be told the paperwork isn’t ready. The question was raised who changes the call to ready now? SJA – stated this will be reviewed, specifically how the ready now gets activated and assigned. There was no clear answer on how this occurs, and feedback will be presented around this.

The AEAWA stated this is still happening, many crews are saying the same thing, the job is booked as ready now but when you arrive on the ward the nurse says your early, we are not ready and then the crew must help the nurse pack patients belongings and wait for paperwork. Some cases people have been picked up early but when arrived at the destination, the other end is not ready as they still have a patient waiting to go or a room to be cleaned.

SJA stated to call comms and let them know you have arrived and the patient is not ready, provide an estimated ready time and comms will make the decision if you stay or not. Instruction will be sent out to Transport employees explaining this soon.

Reporting damaged vehicles
Some look appalling, hubcaps missing, dents. Items missing. SJA want staff to report these so the insurance claims can be processed. SJA reiterated today this will not create a discussion point with any officer, this is a safety issue. Anyone can report the damage, the organisation will not assume that the reporting officer caused the damage. Crews reporting these issues early can reduce severe damage occurring to the vehicles or even injury to their colleagues. These issues when left will become worse.

The AEAWA are supportive of reporting damage to vehicles ASAP to increase member safety.

Reasonable Overtime
Our members in the country have stated that on occasions they are ‘coerced’ into doing long shift extensions. An example given was a crew who were knocking off in three-hours when they were given a transfer to Perth, effectively a 7-hour turnaround. Yes, the crew has three hours left to work, but a four-hour shift extension is NOT reasonable. SJA will review these occurrences.

As always if a member finds themselves in this situation, let us know immediately and we can discuss this at a senior Management level to resolve this. Of course, if you are happy to do it…. Enjoy the OT.

Wheelchair Grab Handle
A discussion took place on the grab handle being too low and too far away, if the patient has reduced capacity to hold their weight on the bar or even reach it, it can be extremely difficult for a solo officer to assist the patient in and out of the vehicle. Engineering have reviewed this and there is no other option in replacing the grab handle.

In light of this result the AEAWA would like to remind all our members as always, your safety is our concern. If you need assistance call for a backup. If this request is denied contact the AEAWA directly.

Wheelchair Head Rest
Members have asked if the head rest on the wheelchair has to be used during transport. The response was, it is in the instruction manual to do so, and it is safer for patients. Hence it should be used at all times.

Bariatric Wheelchair
Members are reminded that there is no bariatric wheelchair, crews should call Team Leaders to provide assistance.

People refusing wheelchair shifts
SJA are currently reviewing is this a skill set issue, a training issue or a confidence issue? Further feedback will be provided when available.

Heating in the Transfer Bus
Members have stated it is extremely cold and patients often complain. This was reviewed and the feedback was there is no place to house the heater due to the stretcher configuration and the general design of the vehicle.

Changing Shift Times
If staff want to change times, contact management and they will see if the changes do not impact in a negative way. If not, then the change will be considered. Flexibility in roster times should be able to occur. SJA will review all requests.

Shift Extensions
Notify comms if you cannot do OT at the end of the shift. Instances of crews calling to advise late in the shift can cause issues, If a member provides sufficient notice, the request will have a higher chance of approval.

Any issues with this directive please contact the AEAWA.

Transport Specific Rostering Capability
An employee is now working with rosters that is Transport specific. The role is assisting many of these changes. There has been a downward trend in absenteeism since this has been established. SJA will review if there is a permanent need for this role.

Some concern amongst the membership regarding advertising this role. The AEAWA will inform officers of the outcome.

Contacting Clinical Support Paramedics
Use of CSPs and inconstant information – CSP’s are a larger organisational resource and not necessarily a transport specific role. Take the clinical guidance at a time. Questions were raised that some CSPs don’t really have an understanding of Transport specific issues and their specific CPGs. SJA have stated to always follow the CSP advice. CSPs are shift colour specific and most transport employees work Monday-Friday, so continuity is always going to be difficult to maintain.

Hospitals telling crews what jobs they are doing
A crew attended a hospital for one job and the hospital staff stated no you’re doing this one. SJA have stated crews placed in this situation should call comms and feedback what is occurring on-scene.

The AEAWA agree, it should not be up to the officers to sort this. Management should be contacted, and that Manager should be calling the hospital and making a decision of who is to be transported.

Next meeting

AEAWA Committee AGM Minutes May, 2022

Meeting officially opened by the President and the Executive Committee
19:00-21:00 on May 3th 2022

Committee Attendee’s
John Thomas, Lee Waller, Mike Hardwick and Dave Bryant.

Committee Apologies
Donelle Carver, Dave Higgins, Dave Abbott, Conrad Fairhead. Earl Stamp, Lee Mack, Troy Bates, Chris Smith, Tania Hill, Gary Davies, Tim Dunlop, Justin Brennan, Tim Dunlop, Cam Fiddock, Kam Phagura and Liz Jaggard.

Member Attendee’s
Travis Kendrick, Craig Hubbard, Neil swain, Simon Jenkins, Brigid Larkin, Jesse George, Ross Cooper, James Byles, Troy Sayer, Ed Doran, Tanni Baird, Dan Delpero, Estelle John, Jarad Stover, Robyn McWilliams, Shelly Welch, Adelle Ryan, Greg Crellin, Stefan Vencatachellum, Ash Sturdy, Daryl Payne, Tania Hill, Dave Austin. Dave Higgins, Sam Cleasby and Arjang Pirmorady-Esfahani.

Member Apologies
Ian Dyer, Damian Condo, Tania Dickson, Nate Flemming, Stew Greenan, Neil Rutherfurd, Karl Hunt, Mark Hill, Jo Chambers, Kami Evans, Rene Kaye, Justin Brennan, Declan O’Neil, Rod Griffin, Nigel Schumann, Kenny Nelson, Darryl Payne, Brett Moore, Clive Broome, Chris Brown, Rex Bullock, Jane Mathers, Rob Sauer, Mike Ficko, Ed McLean, Mark Wilding, Jon Flockton, Todd Jones, Andrew Kerfoot, Justin Ingrey, Phil Stanatis, Matt Neville, Dale Reid, Dave Johnson and Christine Hunter.

Welcome of the Membership
The AGM commenced with a basic synopsis of the evening. Items such as the disbanding of the AEAWA Executive Committee, who the AEAWA are, what the committee does, the three EBA discussions, the AEAWA interactions along with unresolved Paramedic/Ambulance Officer EBA items.

Who Are the AEAWA
The AEAWA Committee are volunteers who donate their time. Your committee are not compensated in anyway financially, and all of you delegates are financial members of the Association. The AEAWA are a self-regulated and self-managed entity, with no political affiliations or interference. Your committee is made up of Paramedics, Communication’s Officers and Ambulance Transport Officers.

What Your Committee Does
Our main focus is to protect and improve upon all working conditions and maintain a strong focus on effective and constructive bargaining strategies. We offer assistance on employment rights and legal perspectives. We aim to ensure that all of your entitlements are delivered and to ensure openness and transparency with our employer.

Your Executive Committee has

  • Attended 20 AEAWA Committee meetings.
  • Attended over 240 hours of EBA negotiation meetings.
  • Attended ALL IMT, JCC and outcome meetings (35 in total).
  • Sent 6,400 emails.
  • Received over 5000 emails.
  • Received and made over 12,000 calls from members.
  • Represented 80 members during Disciplinary Hearings
  • Attended 10 Fair Work presentations.
  • Attended over 220 meetings at Belmont.
  • Attended over 20 meetings with Private Investigators.
  • Attended multiple meetings with our Lawyers, and even more with St Johns Lawyers.

Recent Announcements
Our Surveys and their results have enabled us to continue our campaign for openness and transparency throughout the organisation. We are currently fighting for a better and fairer recruitment process and as always, we will fight for more crews on road and more employees within the SOC. To view our surveys please click here.

We have been extremely active throughout the Standing Committee Inquiry. We are constantly holding the organisation to account. THIS IS A FULLTIME JOB! We have also campaigned for better safety (resolving the SOC Acoustic Shock incidents) and as an Association we are standing firm on Single Officer deployment.

The Communications Officers EBA Achievements
Your committee were able to achieve a significantly higher pay increase to what SJA originally offered. We fought for more transparent options around the Communications Officer Joint Consultative Committee, increased allowances, and improvement for the Dispute Resolution Procedure. Improved conditions and the inclusion of a Special Leave Exchange clause were also successfully negotiated.

The Ambulance Transport Officers EBA Achievements
Your committee were able to achieve a significantly higher pay increase to what SJA originally offered. We fought for more transparent options around the Ambulance Transport Officer Joint Consultative Committee, increased allowances, and improvement for the Dispute Resolution Procedure. Improved conditions, better rostering options and the inclusion of a Special Leave Exchange clause were also successfully negotiated.

The Paramedic/Ambulance Officer EBA Achievements
Your committee were able to achieve a significantly higher pay increase to what SJA originally offered. We fought for more transparent options around the Paramedic/Ambulance Officer Joint Consultative Committee, increased allowances, and improvement for the Dispute Resolution Procedure. Improved conditions, better rostering options and the inclusion of a Special Leave Exchange clause were also successfully negotiated. We also had significant movement for Job Share in country locations and were able to successfully negotiate major changes regarding the Recruitment Process. Just as important we were able to stand firm on SJA removing allocated stations, the slap in the face pay rise and a lot of other items they wanted to remove from us.

The Paramedic/Ambulance Officer EBA Unresolved Items
Your committee are still negotiating major safety concerns regarding Single Officers and the attack on our Crew Formation. Pre-Shift Checks, Meal Breaks, Reasonable Overtime, Special Leave and the backdoored Workers Compensation Policy along with Recruitment are still items that remain unresolved.

The AEAWA Treasurers Report
The AEAWA are just about to achieve its 1000th member, signing up over 76% of the work force. This is a massive achievement and the AEAWA would like to thank each and every member for their support. This makes the many hours we spend away from our families fighting the fight bearable. We will always strive for the service to be a better place for all of us.

The AEAWA pay for Travel Insurance, Professional Indemnity Insurance, Lawyers, our website and Database. This forms almost all of our ‘outgoings’. The accounts of the AEAWA are in a strong position. This is due to increasing membership and a low-cost structure used in the running of the Association. The Associations financial statements give a true and fair view of the financial position of the AEAWA.

The AEAWA Changing From an Association to a Registered Union
The AEAWA sourced the memberships thoughts on changing from an Association to a registered union and the potential costs associated with doing so. The members were happy for the Committee to proceed with this process, and further information will be provided to the members after the application is submitted. There were NO objections from the members present.

The AEAWA Looking for a Premises
The AEAWA are looking towards the start of 2023 to secure an office building and potential office personnel to assist with the day to day running of the Association. The members at the AGM were supportive of this and understand the need for the AEAWA to secure both the building and office staff. The AEAWA reiterated that the financials are secure and that the funds are available to facilitate this. There were NO objections from the members present.

Questions from the floor

Acoustic Shock
The discussion regarding our SOC colleagues took place between the attending members, and many did not realise the extent of these occurrences within the SOC. The AEAWA were proactive in fighting SJA to reduce our members being injured. Over 30 such events occurred injuring a total of 17 officers. The AEAWA fought for headsets to be removed by all Radio Dispatchers until the system was fixed…. They couldn’t, as they had no idea where the problem was. A new safer system is in place with zero reported incidents. A survey was completed by our SOC members between August 3rd February 2021 – April 16th 2021, a response rate of approximately 30%. Those results can be seen here.

Will There be Back Pay for this Current EBA?
Yes, the AEAWA will always negotiate back pay, we have too, otherwise SJA would prolong all the negotiations as this would be more financially viable.

What is Happening with the RASO Crews? We Thought they Would Only be Deployed as a Last Resort?
Yes, the AEAWA did discuss this NUMEROUS times throughout all of the IMT meetings. We wanted many more steps to occur first; splitting Paramedic/Paramedic crews, calling in more overtime resources, placing some of the many, many, many, many, many managers the organisations have implemented into Ambulances before establishing these crew formations. They didn’t… why…. It’s cheaper!

Did SJA Have a Claim Regarding Allocated Positions…. Do They Not Support These?
In short yes, they had a claim, no we didn’t like it…. so yes, we fought it. SJA want complete control over rostering… to send you anywhere at any time. Officers who had them would have basically been ‘Grand fathered’ into the position, effectively making the rest of the fleet who do not have an allocated position spare for the rest of their careers.

The Extended Secondment Periods.
The AEAWA will always ensure fairer and more transparent processes throughout the organisation occur. By increasing the seconded periods mean fewer officers will be able to experience the many roles within the organisation. In the past officers have bounced between these positions which provided no opportunity for career advancement and change for the members waiting for these positions. We believe ALL officers are provided this opportunity, and not a select few.

Will the Government Take Over the Service?
In short, we don’t know. The Standing Committee Report will be presented May 19th, 2022, and we will review that document when it is released. But a takeover is unlikely.

Will the Department of Fire and Emergency Services Take Over the service?
We don’t think so.

Discussions Occurred Around Understanding the Sick Leave Balance and Reading Payslips.
Members stated these items are hard to read and difficult to understand. The services intranet (Connect) is hard to locate things. Would the AEAWA consider placing something on the website that members could use to decipher documents such as these. The AEAWA would be happy to make life a little easier and do this. But please give us some time, as you could imagine. It’s been very busy.

Disbanding of the AEAWA Executive Committee
John Thomas (President), Donelle Carver (Vice President), Lee Waller (Secretary/Treasurer), Dave Higgins (Executive Member), Mike Hardwick (Executive Member) and Conrad Fairhead (Executive Member) will step away from their various roles as they have completed their three-year elected terms. These Delegates have over 90-years of Ambulance industrial experience between them. The Committee will stay on to complete the current Paramedic/Ambulance Officer EBA negotiations. Once this is completed the Committee will step down and elections for the new AEAWA Executive positions will occur as outlined within the AEAWA Constitution.

Meeting officially closed by the President and Executive Committee
The membership was thanked for attending the AGM, and were advised that a quorum had been achieved, and any changes to the Constitution would be communicated with the membership.

AEAWA Committee Minutes from April 8th, 2022

Meeting Officially Opened by the AEAWA President
16:00-17:00 on April 8, 2022

Committee Attendee’s
John Thomas, Donelle Carver, Lee Waller, Dave Higgins, Mike Hardwick, Dave Abbott, Conrad Fairhead, Jon Flockton, Todd Jones and Dave Bryant.

Committee Apologies
Chris Smith.

Previous Minutes
Passed by John Thomas and Conrad Fairhead.

AEAWA Membership
There has been a total of 19 new members signed this month.

Current EBA Negotiations
The AEAWA discussed the latest SJA offers for the Ambulance Officers/ Paramedics Agreement. This information can be found here on the Paramedics EBA page on the AEAWA website.

Extension of Probationary Periods
There have been a few officers of late that have contacted the AEAWA regarding emails they have received by SJA stating that their probationary periods have been extended. Often with no rational as to why. The AEAWA have been able to navigate members through this period and have achieved favourable outcomes.

The AEAWA would urge any members who are currently within a probationary time-frame to basically keep an eye on the end date, and if you are extended to contact us to raise on your behalf.

Taking Positions Outside of your Certified Agreement
There have been many roles of late advertised for members to apply for. The AEAWA are supportive of ‘some’ of these positions. We would like to advise that if you do apply and are successful in a position outside of the CA you are often signing an Individual Flexible Arrangement. For more information on these agreements please visit the FairWork Ombusman Webpage by clicking here.

Many of our members have contacted the AEAWA when they find out their leave has been reduced, or their pay scales have been altered. In essence it hasn’t been what they expected. The AEAWA urges any member who signs an IFA when they apply for a position to review the document they are signing. This will ensure no nasty surprises are hiding in the detail.

The Recruitment Committee
The AEAWA wrote to SJA with their grievances of the process so far. These issues include

  • Assessment Centres – There is still some speculation on having quarterly assessment centres. There is a possibility that this may slow down the selection process and potentially disadvantaging our members. Some positions may take four months to fill if the assessment times are running quarterly. The AEAWA have asked to see examples of this process from start to finish in order to make a final decision.
  • Advertised Roles – SM positions should be advertised to SM’s and Permanent Country Officers who have accumulated more than 12 months of ASM experience over the past five years. This we believe is the best open, fair and transparent process.
  • INSERT Document – the statement; ‘INSERT DOCUMENT’ is recorded throughout the provided Recruitment Process document provided by SJA, the AEAWA would like to review the wording of these insertions as this may change the intent of the document.
  • Qualifying – The AEAWA believe you need to require all relevant experience to address any job criteria before you apply for the role. SJA still maintain the line that you can gain the experience during the application process.
  • Shortlist Criteria – SJA want positions such as AM’s to apply for positions in the country. The AEAWA are strongly opposed to positions outside of the Certified Agreement being included in the Appendix section of the process. This, as stated before will be viewed as Managers employing Managers.
  • Workers Compensation Policy – The AEAWA have opposed this, and we will most likely oppose the remade document, as there is no consultation or communication regarding it. This was a policy that simply appeared on connect. It basically means that if you lodge a workers compensation claim (even for one shift), you can not apply for any country position for 13 weeks.

The Uniform Committee
SJA have stated that they would like the AEAWA to participate in the upcoming Uniform Committee. The AEA have had much interest from the Committee to assist. The selected representatives will be announced shortly.

Correspondence In
There has been numerous correspondence with the Deputy President at the Fair Work Commission relating to unresolved items within the EBA.

Correspondence Out
As above

Next Committee Meeting
The AEAWA Committee will meet again Friday 19th May 2022 (10:00-12:30).

Meeting officially closed by the President
The Committee will re-convene at the scheduled date.

AEAWA Committee Minutes from March 6th, 2022

Meeting officially opened by the AEAWA President
16:00-17:00 on March 6, 2022

Committee Attendee’s
John Thomas, Donelle Carver, Lee Waller, Dave Higgins, Mike Hardwick, Dave Abbott and Conrad Fairhead.

Committee Apologies
Chris Smith and Dave Bryant.

Previous Minutes
Passed by Dave Abbott and Lee Waller.

AEAWA Membership
There has been a total of 33 new members signed this month.

Current EBA Negotiations
The AEAWA discussed the latest SJA offers for the Ambulance Officers/ Paramedics Agreement. This information can be found here on the Paramedics EBA page on the AEAWA website.

Paid Maternity Leave in the current EBA negotiations.
A member contacted the AEAWA to ascertain if there are any changes regarding Paid maternity Leave in the current negotiations. In short, yes. When the Certified Agreement is agreed to and signed, members will be able to access their Long Service Leave entitlement during their time of Parental Leave. Part time employees will receive pro-rata Parental Leave.

Upcoming Joint Consultative Committee meetings
Soon the Paramedic, SOC and Ambulance Transport JCC’s will commence. All members are urged to send the AEAWA any issues they have within their profession. These lists are vital to for the agenda at these upcoming meetings. It provides your committee the opportunity to increase work safety, reduce work stresses and improve all aspects within your working environment. Ambulance officers and Paramedics can send their concerns they would like to see addressed to [email protected], SOC members can send their concerns to [email protected] and Transport officers can address their issues by contacting [email protected].

Mask wearing within the SOC
Members contacted the AEAWA stating that they had been made aware of the mask wearing policy to remain in place even if the mandates are relaxed by Government. The AEAWA are understanding of the issues that come for wearing masks, especially in the SOC environment. Answering calls to the public whilst wearing a mask can de difficult. Unfortunately, due to the lack of staffing within the SOC, it is understandable that SJA are concerned with a breakout of COVID within the room. In short, a safety mandate that is above the set level is difficult to refute.

The AEAWA suggest if members feel uncomfortable wearing them across the 12-hour shift to discuss the issue with their Duty Manager to see if there are other options. 

Influenza Vaccinations
There has been many contacts regarding whether or not SJA will once again enforce employees to have the vaccination. At this time there has been no directive of any further upcoming mandates. This may change over time. The ‘Conscientious Objector’ clause will no doubt be removed if further mandates are in place.

Allocated Positions
A member contacted the AEAWA after being offered an allocated position. As there were two vacant positions the officer wanted who know who took the other spot (effectively who was their partner going to be). They were advised this information can not be provided.

The AEAWA understand that members would like to know who their permanent will be, and if they already have an allocated position, they want to understand the full dynamic before the swap positions.

The AEAWA discussed this issue with SJA and were given the assurance this will not occur in the future. If you find yourself in this position and get the same result, please contact the AEAWA for assistance.

Correspondence In
There has been numerous correspondence with the Deputy President at the Fair Work Commission relating to unresolved items within the EBA.

Correspondence Out
As above

Next Committee Meeting
The AEAWA Committee will meet again Friday 8th April 2022 (10:00-12:30).

Meeting officially closed by the President
The Committee will re-convene at the scheduled date.

AEAWA Archived Minutes

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