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Paramedics & Ambulance Officers

The AEAWA Paramedic Committee

Dave Abbott  Wangara – Red/Green – 0408 485 208

Dave Bryant  Bunbury – Blue – 0422 992 193

Gary Davies  Broome – Green – 9192 0714

Tim Dunlop  Osborne Park – Green – 9334 6052

Cam Fiddock  Kunnanurra – Blue – 9168 2844

Craig Hubbard  Joondalup – Blue – 9301 2167

Justin Ingrey  East Bunbury – Red/Blue – 0438 646 351

Jon Flockton  Bunbury – Red – 9791 4999

Lee Mack  Joondalup – Black/Blue – 0409 682 834

Troy Sayer  Melville – Blue/Red – 9364 9410

Earl Stamp  Ellenbrook – Black – 6296 3595

Ambulance Officer/Paramedic Certified Agreements

Here you will find all of the Certified Agreements related to  Ambulance Officers and Paramedics.

The Ambulance Officer/Paramedic Joint Consultative Committee

Here you will find information related to the JCC meetings.

The Paramedic JCC Meeting Minutes

Paramedic JCC August, 2022

Meeting commenced
09:30-11:30 on August 3rd, 2022

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.

Ramping
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 1000 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.

CEP
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
TBA

Paramedic JCC May, 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
TBA

Paramedic JCC December, 2020

Meeting Date
13:00-15:20 on December 21, 2021

Committee Attendee’s
John Thomas, Lee Waller and Dave Abbott

Committee Apologies
Donelle Carver and Dave Higgins

Incidents of violence and aggression
A committee is to be formed to combat incidents of violence and aggression directed towards ambulance personnel. This training will be provided by peers and external resources. The AEAWA responded in regard to the previous meetings as the OSH representative that he believed SJA and the parties had reached a position where external providers were sourced to provide de-escalation techniques. This was advised by SJA that this was not the case and that the intention was to ‘train’ peers to deliver the program. The AEAWA are supportive of de-escalation training however, the AEAWA will not accept our members who get assaulted being held accountable for the actions of a violent patient or bystander, nor will we support an initiative in which SJA can ‘hang out’ the crew for being assaulted.

We are the only state in Australia that hasn’t had training in de-escalation techniques. The AEAWA reminded SJA that we are the ONLY service in Australia that has NOT provided Professional Violence and Aggression training to employees.

SJA employing yet another manager
Appointment of the CP Manager. SJA have felt the need to employ another manager for this group. SJA were made aware that in accordance with the Report on Government Services SJA are the most heavily managed ambulance service, these Government statistics were from 2 years ago (with 65% of employed staff being on road or in SOC). That was before the new senior management appointments. SJA believe they require more managers to make the business run appropriately. The AEAWA strongly stated that more ‘on road’ and in ‘SOC’ resources are required.  In essence what will managers do for the community of Western Australia who are waiting 4 hours for an ambulance?

More Country Paramedics
WACHS wanting more paramedics in the country regions. At this stage discussions between SJA and WACHS are occurring on where these resources should go and how many are required. Difficulty is WACHS want to fund these positions for two years, were once resources are placed into an area both SJA and the AEAWA want them to remain there. At this stage it looks like a mixture of paramedics, community paramedics or even PTOs. The AEAWA will seek further discussions with WACHS regarding these resources.

More Managers
SJA wanted to outline their new management structure. This recruitment of greater numbers of managers is for SJA to identify ‘inefficiencies’. This was met with an unfavourable response, SJA appear to be able to put management positions together extremely quickly, but never seem to boost the employees in green.

Hospital Liaison Managers
Hospital Liaison Managers are being supported and SJA believe that these positions are making a difference. The AEAWA do not agree with this statement. Our members believe that ramping is getting worse, and that the role CAN NOT reduce these issues. It is a wider health systemic issue.

Taking patients for x-rays whilst ramped 
Whilst on the ramp ambulance crews are basically becoming hospital workers; taking patients for x-rays and other testing areas within the hospitals. The AEAWA believe that this is a hospitals job, taking patients through the hospital system IS NOT and ambulance role, there are no policies on what to do, it has not been ergonomically assessed and what happens if the patient deteriorates. If a patient goes into these procedures, WE ARE NOT IN WITH THEM! How do we do observations and how do we assess the patient, who is responsible when the patient deteriorates.

Single Officers tasked to be a ramping officer
SJA is tasking single employees to become solo ramping paramedics. The AEAWA is amazed SJA is allowing this to happen. Patients are not being admitted into the hospital as it is too busy and the AMA believe taking care of multiple patients during these times presents significant clinical risk, however SJA believe that risk can just simply be placed onto single officers.

The AEAWA will not and never will support a single officer being on the ramp as this goes against all current policies written by the organisation. The clinical risk is too high.

Stryker Stretcher Update
LMS training has been in place for the current Ferno F50 stretchers which most staff have completed. There is a purchase order for 83 Stryker stretchers which will be arriving in 3 months and more will follow, The rollout will be initially for ‘new builds’ only as workshops require time to refit the current
vehicles. The training will commence shortly.

Duty Manager CAD Updates
Duty Manager Sending Out Information on CAD Regarding No Back Ups. SJA to review.

Pre Shift Checks
The AEAWA have asked SJA for the ‘minimum requirement for shift start’ for years as our members have come to work 15mins early to check vehicles so they could be available for 07:00 jobs and at no cost. Management were advised that officer’s shifts commence at certain times 0700 & 1800 and then vehicle checks, drug reconciliation etc. take place. Also if crews are dispatched without opportunity to check vehicles who is responsible for failed defibrillation or missing equipment etc. As SJA appear extremely unsupportive to the membership, the committee and its members now feel that this good will has ended. SJA advised the minimum a crew should be doing is the drug check, and a defibrillation check on the Corpuls3 to ensure monitor is operational. It was estimated by SJA that this check should take 4-5minutes.  We have asked SJA to provide that detail in writing.

Xmas cancellation of shift party’s and hampers
This was the CEO’s decision and all Directors stood by it. AEAWA made it VERY clear that this was a very poor decision and has had a major negative impact on moral State wide amongst all operational Staff. This decision was made worse with the announcement of a Xmas function for “Friends of SJA” plus all Directors received Xmas hampers.

Next Meeting
TBA

Paramedic/Ambulance Officer Surveys

The Culture Survey

Survey Status – Closed

Survey Data Collected – November 11th 2021 – November 29th 2021

Survey Results – Click here.

The SJA Proposed 4x4 Survey

Survey Status – Closed

Survey Data Collected – August 1st 2021 – September 16th 2021

Survey Results – Pending

Metropolitan Management Model Survey

Survey Status – Closed

Survey Data Collected – August 1st 2021 – September 16th 2021

Survey Results – Tabled. To view the results please click here.

South West Pilot Survey

Survey Status – Closed

Survey Data Collected – April 11st 2020 – November 13th 2020

Survey Results – Tabled. To view all survey results and data please click here.

Paramedic EBA Survey

Survey Status – Closed

Survey Data Collected – June 29th 2020 – September 16th 2020

Survey Results – These results are still ongoing.

Ambulance Officer/Paramedic News

News articles and media reports relating to your employment will be situated here. If you find articles you think should go up here please email the link to the committee ([email protected]).

NewsParamedic News

March 6th – EBA Update

Yesterday afternoon your bargaining representatives met with St John to discuss our claim regarding our proposal to introduce a clause which would define acceptable 'Metropolitan Crew Formation', thereby addressing both AO/AO crewing and safe restrictions on Single Officer clinical duties. Why is this important? The obvious concern here is that…
Lee Waller
6 March 2022
NewsParamedic News

March 1st EBA Update

The AEAWA negotiation team met with St John WA this morning in compliance with Directions issued by Deputy President Beaumont of the FWC, to conduct a rapid series of negotiation meetings and to either work towards an agreement or to reach final positions. The purpose of these meetings is to…
Lee Waller
1 March 2022
NewsParamedic News

Managers On Road Dispute

On 21st February (yesterday) the AEAWA formally raised a dispute in relation the a number of breaches of Clause 13 (Managers on Road) of the Ambulance Officers and Paramedics Enterprise Agreement 2018. Clause 13 essentially defines the circumstances that managers can work on road. It outlines how working with a…
Lee Waller
22 February 2022
NewsParamedic News

EBA Fair Work Meeting Monday 21st February, 2022

The AEAWA negotiation team met with St John WA this morning in compliance with Directions issued by Deputy President Beaumont of the FWC, to conduct a rapid series of negotiation meetings and to either work towards an agreement or to reach final positions. The purpose of these meetings is to…
Lee Waller
21 February 2022
NewsParamedic News

Ambulance Officer & Paramedic EBA Update

Today AEAWA delegates participated in a teleconference established by the Fair Work Commission in relation to matter B2022/58 under the direction of Deputy President Beaumont. The Deputy President heard introductory statements from all three parties to the negotiation, and noted a disparity in the number of outstanding claims reported. St…
Lee Waller
21 February 2022
Call Centre NewsNewsParamedic NewsTransport

Covid Leave Update

The AEAWA have received correspondence from the CEO in relation to our repeated attempt to secure 20 days COVID leave, in line with other front line workers. St John essentially advised that they are requesting the Government fund COVID leave. MDL is useful only for work related exposures, and it…
Lee Waller
21 February 2022

If you would like to see positive changes for Paramedics then be a part of the AEAWA Committee.

Contact us and become an AEA Committee Member.