Following legal advice, the AEAWA tabled an urgent addendum to our initial submission to the the Fair Work Commission, thus bringing the matter of ‘Ambulance Crews’ before the Deputy President Beaumont. The AEAWA highlighted the lack of genuine consultation for what is clearly a major change, the EA Clauses which we believe are contravened, and the risk to public health and safety of this model.
The AEAWA highlighted that this ‘AO crew’ plan bears a striking similarity to a previously rejected St John claim which was met with unanimous rejection by bargaining groups, the so called ‘Clinical Appropriate Model of Care’ or CAMC. It’s reintroduction as ‘Ambulance Officer crews’ demonstrates a lack of good faith bargaining.
St John are determined to blur the line between ‘Paramedicine Graduate’ and the Certified Agreement classification of ‘Ambulance Paramedic’. They know that when something goes wrong, they can simply state to the media ‘a Registered Paramedic attended the case’. St John will argue that the ‘clinical scope’ of these crews will ensure patient safety, but the scope is governed by internal policy documents, amendable at their discretion. As we head towards significant community transmission of COVID-19, how long before this scope is altered? Once this model is established, it will become normal, routine operating procedure, and St John will have it’s cheaper ‘tiered’ service for 000 calls.
We will fight this plan all the way.