For the first time since 2010 ambulance officers will have the opportunity to vote on a negotiated outcome around their wages and conditions in the form of a certified agreement. Unlike the previous Bligh and Newman state governments, Annastacia Palaszczuk has not taken the easy way out and run to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission for arbitration around ambulance officers’ wages and conditions. She has taken the correct decision to ensure ambulance officers are no longer underpaid or undervalued, and we thank her and the Queensland Government for doing so.
This negotiated outcome will deliver the most positive outcome for members since the inception of bargaining in the history of the Queensland Ambulance Service. The feedback from members around the state from different cohorts has been overwhelmingly positive. United Voice members report they are incredibly satisfied to finally be recognised for the work they do by the highest levels of government and that this will be demonstrated by a significant increase to base rates of pay and an enhanced classification structure on par with the professional work they do every day.
Members would have received the update last week regarding the approval provided by the Queensland Government and the finalisation of negotiations of the proposed certified agreement for ambulance officers. The next steps will be a consultation phase where every employee will be provided with access to a copy of the negotiated certified agreement and be invited to information sessions which will be held around the state.
A significant number of members were able to get to one of the earlier United Voice information sessions where the main negotiated points were explained and overwhelming member endorsement gained to move forward to finalise the negotiation of the certified agreement. If you were unable to make one of those sessions please click on the video below which will provide an overview. The video can be paused at the information most relevant to you.
Those who were able to make meetings will know it is the information pertaining to your particular role and roster that is important to look at in order to understand how the new proposed agreement will directly affect you. If you are yet to speak to a United Voice State Councillor or United Voice Official please do so, or seek one out at the information sessions over the next few weeks.
The consultation and ballot phase will roll out over a number of weeks as prescribed by the Industrial Relations Act in order for all ambulance officers to be given the opportunity to seek out any information they need prior to voting on the implementation of the new certified agreement. As dates and venues are finalised for the information sessions United Voice will provide members with information in order for you to have the best possible opportunities to seek out the information you need to make this important decision.
We believe the increases to ambulance officers base rates of pay to reach parity with other services, the enhanced classification structure, the payment of the aggregate rate on long service leave and the retention of the meal overtime payment and a process to address meal management into the future, are all significant positive steps for the members of United Voice. Please take the opportunity to get along to one of the sessions, seek out your State Councillor or United Voice Official, and have your say on this significant advance in recognising the professional job you do.