State Council wrap up

Your State Council met for two days wrapping up yesterday afternoon. It was a great forum to tackle the many pressing issues facing Ambulance Officers. Minister Cameron Dick and Commissioner Bowles separately addressed and listened to State Council. Here are the key issues from State Council:

Minister starts delivering on Code One. 

Commissioner flags renewed cooperation with United Voice

Code One to go public

Work Value and PTSD Studies

Councillor briefing on bullying and media skills


Minister starts delivering on Code One

Ambulance Minister Cameron Dick assured your State Council the Labor Government will not privatise Patient Transfer Service or Communications and would not downsize the numbers of Ambulance Officers in the service.  The non-privatisation commitments already tick off two of the ten-point Code One Action Plan.  

Delegates presented the Minister with the first bundle of member-signed postcards calling for action on the broad spectrum of Code One issues.  We will continue to collect more postcards – so make sure you’ve signed up.

The Minister committed to regular communications with United Voice and your State Council to work together to tackle other issues – not only those on the Code One Action Plan, but also the role Ambulance plays in pre-hospital and preventative health care generally.

Your Council told the Minister personal stories of the human toll fatigue was having on their professional and family life. The Minister said the Labor Government’s work with Ambulance Officers and ability to solve problems would be strengthened by its relationship with State Council and United Voice members.

Commissioner flags renewed cooperation with United Voice

QAS will welcome the direct input from State Council on the Service’s new five-year strategic plan, Commissioner Bowles told Council. Council resolved to take up the offer of consultation and we will report back to members on progress.

This would form just part of a broader and wide-reaching QAS plan to involve United Voice Ambulance State Council and delegates not just on day to day issues of concern, but broader future planning for the service. 

The Commissioner committed to dealing with issues that could not be resolved by local State Councillors and/or delegates dealing with local management – so long as those local dealings were truthful and respectful.

Mr Bowles said United Voice and QAS would not agree on everything, but this renewed cooperation should work to the benefit of both – who share a commitment to professionalism and quality patient care.

Code One to go public

State Council reviewed the achievements of the Code One campaign since its launch last year: established a proactive policy platform with member support; broad support from the new Labor Government; and beginnings of a public profile through media.

Council resolved to take Code One to the next stage of using the enormous public support for Ambulance Officers to garner stakeholder and greater public support.

A sub-committee was established to draft a plan to connect with Local Ambulance Committees and other key stakeholders. We will need all State Councillors, delegates and members to lend their support to this – but there is no reason why Code One cannot become a highly recognised public campaign to support patient care and the profession no matter what party is in government.

Work Value and PTSD Studies

Council heard an update on the detailed work being done by independent experts from Griffith University on the viability of a Work Value Case and what can be done to ameliorate PTSD and its devastating impact on Ambulance Officers and their families.

There is more work to be done on both reports, but United Voice is committed to taking whatever action is necessary for the benefit of members. A member review panel will work with the independent experts to make clear recommendations to United Voice.  We will report back on completion of the projects.

Councillor briefing on bullying and media skills

Your Councillors were briefed on bullying and harassment in the workplace by United Voice Member Assist industrial staff. They were taken through the proper definition of bullying and how to manage it.

A good discussion was had on the need to confront the culture of bullying within the Service. This is something United Voice has and will continue to take up with QAS. The recent workplace posters have helped raise awareness of the issue in the workplace.

Councillors also received some basic media skills training to better equip them to take your stories to the public through the media. Media is an important way of not only reaching the public, but putting pressure on QAS and the government on key issues of concern.

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