Victorian Ambulance Union Mulls Escalating Action Amid Stalled Talks

The Victorian Ambulance Union is considering escalating industrial action after 15 months of failed negotiations with the State Government over a new enterprise agreement, potentially disrupting Victoria's healthcare system and affecting patient safety. The union is seeking improved end-of-shift management and enhanced health and safety provisions, while the government is urging a quick resolution to prevent further strain on the system." This description focuses on the primary topic of the industrial dispute between the Victorian Ambulance Union and the State Government, the main entities involved, and the context of the healthcare system in Victoria. It also highlights the significant actions and implications of the dispute, including the potential disruption to patient safety and the healthcare system. The description provides objective and relevant details that will guide the AI in creating an accurate visual representation of the article's content.

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Nitish Verma
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Victorian Ambulance Union Mulls Escalating Action Amid Stalled Talks

Victorian Ambulance Union Mulls Escalating Action Amid Stalled Talks

The Victorian Ambulance Union is considering ramping up industrial action after 15 months of negotiations with the State Government over a new enterprise agreement have failed to yield results. Despite more than 90 meetings, the two sides remain at an impasse, with the union seeking improved end-of-shift management to reduce forced overtime and enhancements to health and safety provisions.

Why this matters: The dispute has significant implications for the state's healthcare system, potentially affecting patient safety and access to medical services. A resolution is crucial to preventing further strain on the system and ensuring the well-being of Victorians.

Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas is urging the union to resolve the outstanding issues quickly, expressing concern about the potential impact on patient safety. "Obviously I don't want to see that, I want to see a resolution on the outstanding enterprise agreement," Thomas stated. "There are a number of issues still on the table, still being worked through, and I encourage the parties to do all they can to reach resolution as soon as possible."

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation has already been engaging in industrial action over the past week, with members wearing union T-shirts, refusing overtime, and not completing paperwork. The union plans to hold a statewide meeting on Thursday to discuss further measures, which could include closing one in four beds, canceling 25% of elective surgeries, and holding stop-work meetings.

Paramedics and ambulance workers are also set to vote on an additional 70 industrial actions in the coming weeks. The union has rejected a 3% pay rise offer from the government, which included an annual $1500 payment. Victorian Ambulance Union secretary Danny Hill emphasized the need for change, stating, "Workers have been exploited for way too long."

Opposition Leader John Pesutto criticized the government's handling of the situation, asserting, "The government just has to do a better job at sitting down with its own workforce and its representatives and solving these things." Health services spent $291 million on overtime and agency and casual nurses and midwives in 2023, highlighting the strain on the system.

The Victorian Ambulance Union's negotiations with the State Government have dragged on for over 15 months, with more than 90 meetings failing to produce an agreement. As the union considers escalating industrial action, the potential impact on the state's healthcare system looms large. The coming days and weeks will be critical in determining whether a resolution can be reached or if the dispute will further intensify.

Key Takeaways

  • Vic Ambulance Union considers industrial action after 15 months of negotiations.
  • Union seeks improved end-of-shift management and enhanced health and safety provisions.
  • Dispute may affect patient safety and access to medical services in Victoria.
  • Health Minister urges quick resolution to prevent strain on healthcare system.
  • Further industrial action possible, including closing beds and canceling surgeries.