Representatives of United Voice Ambulance State Council met with members of APAQ executive today. A number of issues were discussed. It was agreed that communication between the Union and the Association would help reduce mis-communication to Ambulance Officers. United Voice made the point that there is and should only be one Union representing QAS Officers, as to do otherwise allows organisations to be played off against each other.
Fitness for Duty Committee
United Voice participates on the QAS Fitness for Duty Committee as employee representative. Rank and file members represent fellow members in these kinds of forums and the following is a report on the last meeting from Laurie Ryan one of the United Voice Representatives on this forum.
Recently in consultation with United Voice the QAS has commenced a Fit For Work Group to look at all aspects of what is required to ensure our staff are “Fit For Work”.
With registration just around the corner the goal is to develop a set of policies, guidelines and actions to ensure our staff are able to carry out their jobs in a safe and healthy manner and more importantly that you know the person you are working with will also be fit to turn up on the day.
You will have already seen some results from this group with the recent campaign to get staff vaccinated for this year’s Flu season. People were given the opportunity to be vaccinated by their own means and be reimbursed or attend of the successful roving immunisation group as part of the pilot program that was run in the South East. This year’s campaign saw a very successful and positive uptake of vaccinations with over 36% of staff reporting as vaccinated compared to just 16% two years ago.
In the near future, a tender process will begin to conduct an external review of the QAS and have a look at what it means to be a paramedic and what we need to do to get our job done. This review will make recommendations as to what is required to ensure our staff are Fit for Duty and what policies or procedures need to be tweaked or developed. By looking after ourselves, and most importantly our patients, we know the person we are working will also be safe to work with.
As a member of this group it’s great to see all levels of QAS and union representation holding open and engaging discussion, with conversation revolving round what can be done to ensure our staff are looked after and how we can keep our staff as members of the QAS.
It’s important to note that while this will tackle some big concepts, it’s not going to be something which is going to be dropped on staff with changes to commence immediately. The process is going to be stepped and gradual, no one’s employment is at risk with the development of this process. The end goal is to develop procedures to ensure who we are and who we work with are fit and safe to come to work.