We are now in the fourth week of your arbitration hearing, after proceedings started in July and further hearing dates were held at the end of August. Tomorrow and Friday, your colleagues will again be cross examined as witnesses for United Voice.
As updated previously, on Wednesday 23 August, the parties undertook an inspection of the Brisbane Communications Centre at the Kedron facility, in order to contextualise evidence given to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission about the interaction of the Communication Centres and on-road paramedic crews.
During the three hearing dates in late August, the union had a further opportunity to cross-examine QAS witnesses and was finally able to commence its case and have union witnesses give evidence in support of this case.
Union witnesses gave evidence on the importance of predictable rosters for QAS employees so that employees have stability and notice to accommodate family requirements and to ensure a semblance of work / life balance. Union witnesses also gave evidence on the daily struggles employees face in accessing meal breaks during decent, common standard meal times. Witnesses also gave evidence of the hard work they undertake for the ambulance service and that they have not had a pay rise since October 2011.
Despite a number of union witnesses giving evidence last week, we still have a large number of witnesses waiting to give evidence. Those witnesses will again need to go through the process of making arrangements for release from duty, and interrupting their work and personal lives in order to support the union’s case for the preservation of your existing entitlements and wage increases. Please support these witnesses where you can.
As always, if you need further information on the arbitration case or have any other queries, contact the ambulance hotline or your state councillor.