Victory for Victorian 'ambos'

August 16, 2009

MELBOURNE — On August 11, the Ambulance Employees Association (AEA) secured an agreement for Victoria paramedics with the ALP state government that will deliver a 10-hour rest break and better wages.

An AEA spokesperson told Green Left Weekly that the wage rises vary according to the job classification. It starts with a 2.5% increase for some positions, but is higher for others.

The government's backdown came after 15 months of stalled negotiations and an industrial campaign of ambulance workers.

The industrial campaign involved work bans, such as not participating in clinical trials or relieving managers, and refusing to work on days off.

A planned strike, the first for paramedics in 36 years, was ruled illegal by Fair Work Australia in July.

A key sticking point in the negotiations was Ambulance Victoria's policy of an eight-hour period between shifts.

AEA Victorian secretary Steve McGhie said that the new agreement was a win for paramedics and a win for the safety of all Victorians.

"The Victorian public knows how important this issue is, and we thank them for their overwhelming support throughout the campaign. Their support has been vital in winning this agreement", he said.

Paramedics will vote on the new agreement in six weeks' time.

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