ADHSU delegates are dealing with multiple examples of alleged breaches of process perpetrated by the PCI. This is not a ban on responding to allegations of misconduct from your line manager, just from PCI.
The ban will remain in place until the PCI agrees on a code of conduct that is acceptable to ADHSU members.
Here are some recent examples of poor conduct by the PCI:
Falsely accuse members of misconduct, get them into an interview, then ask them to provide unfavourable evidence on a co-worker (we have two live examples of this happening right now).
Refer misconceived matters to NSW Police, e.g., asserting that a picture of a member’s very young child in the bath is child pornography.
Falsify risk assessments so NSWA can suspend members and when PCI is found out they apologise and call it a typographical error (PCI lied about a member having been found guilty of sexual harassment yet the member had never even been accused and is beyond reproach on the subject.)
Inform line management that extended and unreasonable delays in PCI investigation processes are due to having more important things to do.
Returned to the practice of vetting paramedic statements to HCCC/Coronial inquests (in 2010, the then PSCU was criticised in the media for doctoring paramedic statements to a coronial inquest, NSWA has recently been caught doing it for HCCC statements - PCI said in error).
Potentially leak confidential matters to the media.
In short, PCI fails to apply any aspect of transparency, natural justice or fairness in their investigations. PCI stands workers down, doesn’t tell them why, doesn’t tell them for how long, and then schedule an interview weeks, months or sometimes even over a year later. PCI surprises them at this interview with never-before-seen information or evidence and expect them to respond adequately. PCI then vests itself into the decision-making process, clearly with a conflict of interest.
Workers deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, even when, or especially when, they make mistakes. While misconduct must be investigated and responded to appropriately; it should be fair, transparent and timely. Paramedics and other staff have given their careers and lives to NSW Ambulance. The least the employer can do is support workers through the disciplinary process with dignity and respect.
We will approach NSWA seeking a PCI code of conduct and inform members of its progress.