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ADHSU ban on compulsory, blanket extension of shift

  • Published March 31, 2021
  • Industries

As many on road and control centre members know, Metro, the Hunter and other areas are in near-daily status 2.

Rather than respond with extra resources to meet the acute demand on Ambulance Services occurring at the moment, Executive Directors are standing in the Control room directing control centre officers to breach WHS protocols.

In at least one instance, Ambulance Executive has directed that all Sydney-based paramedics were to remain on duty past their finish time to cover the backlog in jobs. This led to many members working 14 hours straight, without a break, regardless of their fatigue levels.

They were invited to call their duty DOM if they were too tired to continue. However, many could not get through to their Duty DOM because they were busy fielding calls from tired paramedics who wanted to go home.

The blanket nature of these sorts of directives is very dangerous from a safety point of view. Asking individual crews if they can respond to a 1A or B at the end of their shift gives the crew an opportunity to call fatigue. Blanket directives do not.

On that basis, ADHSU Council has responded with this recommended ban:

No ADHSU member is to work past their rostered shift finish time unless they are individually asked to by NSWA and agree. If they are asked, members do not need to agree to a job that they feel is unsafe for them, would push them beyond their finish time, or for a job below 1A or B.

It’s times like these that unionists need to protect themselves and each other. You have ADHSU’s backing if you use this ban to keep yourself safe.