In 2019, ADHSU had challenged the NSWA’s implementation of a Treasury circular which mandated employees to take leave if they have a balance over 30 days. Delegates said implementation of this policy would be unfair to paramedics and would result in chaos. Heedless to our warnings, NSWA pushed forward. We know many members have been affected by being directed to take ‘excess’ leave during this period. See 2019 newsletter here.
As a result of NSWA’s insistence that members had too much leave at 30 days or more, many were forced to take extra leave (in a paramedic’s case, more than the 6 weeks leave per year), meaning their balances have gone into the negative.
Most good employers would realise their mistake, apologise, and simply recredit their dedicated, pandemic-exhausted staff’s leave balances and get on with it.
NSWA isn’t one of those employers.
NSWA is currently telling staff that they either defer this year’s leave, take long service leave, or go on leave without pay. So much for caring for front line health workers enduring extreme pandemic conditions day in day out.
ADHSU delegates made it clear to NSWA and to the IRC that the only acceptable outcome is for all members who were erroneously placed on allegedly excessive leave to have their leave recredited.
We also require that the employer fix their mistake by auditing (at a minimum) all staff’s leave balances who were forced onto ‘excessive’ leave in the past few years. The results of the audit should be sent to each member so there is full transparency as to what occurred and what is being done to fix the problem.
At this point, the IRC seemed to be on side with our delegate’s arguments and has asked NSWA to spend a week sorting out what it wants to do with this mess.
ADHSU delegates are back in the IRC in a week’s time. We will let you know the outcome.