Posted on 01. Mar, 2013 in News

The Baillieu Government’s appalling offer on ambulance paramedics’ pay and conditions will result in hundreds of staff moving interstate, Labor Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Wade Noonan, said today.

Mr Noonan said the Baillieu Government’s offer to Victoria’s hardworking paramedics of the equivalent of an extra dollar a week was insulting and made many paramedics consider their future outside of Ambulance Victoria.

“Victoria’s paramedics are the finest in the country, but Mr Baillieu’s do-nothing approach to Ambulance Victoria could see them pack up and head to NSW, Queensland or Western Australia,” he said.

“Mr Baillieu will be responsible for our world class emergency workers leaving to save lives in Sydney – it’s a disgrace.

“Last year an internal staff survey showed that as many as one in three ambulance workers were considering quitting their job to work outside of Ambulance Victoria.

“As well as the substandard pay and conditions, paramedics are also dealing with a hospital system starved of money, following the Baillieu Government’s $616 million cuts to health.

“Paramedics and their union don’t threaten to quit or disrupt their workplace lightly. They aren’t trying to force Mr Baillieu’s hand here, paramedics are genuinely let down by their workplace and this government’s pathetic offer to improve it.

“The Ambulance Employees Association’s move towards industrial action is the first time in 40 years this has happened in Victoria. Mr Baillieu needs to stop this from escalating any further.”

Mr Noonan said he held little hope for a reasoned and principled negotiation from the Baillieu Government.

“The Baillieu Government has failed to on each occasion to quickly and reasonably settle EBA negotiations,” Mr Noonan said.

“Whether it is the two year ongoing debacle with teachers, the nurses or police before them, the Baillieu Government cannot manage negotiations.

“This is not a good sign for our hardworking paramedics, who just want to get a fair deal signed quickly.

“Pressure is an unavoidable part of the job for our hardworking paramedics, but this pressure from the Baillieu Government shouldn’t be part of the equation.”

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