Recently you would have received an email from Operations Manager Austin Whiteside outlining plans to introduce significant changes to the composition of the SOC workforce, with NO consultation.
Once again (in a similar vein to plans for the ambulance workforce) St John are planning to introduce new employees on lower pay, put downward pressure on pay and conditions in the SOC, and to introduce yet more managers.
For awareness of our other members, this email outlines plans to create 20 positions of a new role NOT covered by the EBA of ‘Operations Centre Officer’. This will mean several things. Firstly, the future bargaining power of our Communications Officer colleagues will be diluted. Secondly, it will lower the average wage within the room. Thirdly, qualified Communications Officers will likely not be required to perform the Extra Duties Officer (EDO) role, meaning they will be expected to staff 000 continuously with no prospect of a break or change in role to manage stress. This will also mean less investment in certified Communications Officers, and less ability to cope with surges in call volume.
The email also outlines the creation of an ‘Operational Logistics Cell’ which will see yet more managers in the form of 3 new Country RTM’s, and 4 ‘Shift Development Officers’ and a further Quality Assurance Officer who together will monitor compliance with ProQA, plus the recruitment of an additional Project Manager and Business Manager.
This plan clearly has similar origins as the Metro Management Model and the Clinical Appropriate Model of Care…more lower paid staff to reduce wages, more division of conditions within a workforce, and more managers to wring extra productivity from our already overworked Communications Officers.
In many ways the plans for SOC are worse, having come in the months FOLLOWING the signing of the Enterprise Agreement. It goes without saying that plans to introduce such a significant raft of changes should have been raised during bargaining. This is a timely reminder of the underhanded and deceptive management style of our leadership.