Government remains committed to resolving ambulance union industrial dispute

The State Government remains committed to resolving the ongoing industrial relations dispute with the Ambulance Employees Association (AEA).

Treasurer Rob Lucas said the Government remained willing to compromise, offering at least an extra 50 ambulance officers conditional upon the union agreeing to sensible roster reform, ambos taking meal breaks at their nearest station and the cessation of industrial action.

Even more ambulance officers would be employed upon the finalisation of all enterprise bargaining negotiations.

“The only way to resolve any kind of dispute is for both parties to compromise and the Government is, once again, calling on the union to compromise for the benefit of hardworking paramedics and all South Australians who rely on them,” said Mr Lucas.

“We’ve made it quite clear we’re willing to compromise – we’ve put at least an extra 50 ambulance officers on the table conditional upon sensible roster and meal break reforms and the cessation of industrial action.

“Roster reform is important because it will help replace long, tiring 12-hour shifts with a greater number of shorter 8-hour and 10-hour shifts and staggering start and finish times. Meal break reform will end the policy of ambos taking time driving up to 35km past 3 or 4 stations to return to a home station to take a meal break, instead of taking a break at the nearest station.

“SA Ambulance Service data shows nearly a quarter of ambulance crews are travelling greater than 45 minutes to get their home station for a meal break.”

“We have also promised to invest in even more ambulance officers once all enterprise bargaining negotiations with the union have been finalised.

“No amount of industrial action will actually help resolve these issues. Ultimately, in the same way that long-running industrial disputes with the teachers’ and nurses’ unions were resolved sensibly by both parties sitting down and reaching a compromise, we hope the AEA will also compromise to help resolve this dispute.”

Mediation in the SA Employment Tribunal will resume on Wednesday.

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