Government not playing fair over pay and conditions

The Victorian government dictates to all of us how the public purse — money paid by us — will be spent. 

There is nothing democratic about it at all.

 Successive Victorian governments waste money where it should not be spent and do not spend money where it should. 

Despite the existence of the Australian Charter of Employment Rights many governments, including the current Victorian government, when it comes to enterprise bargaining agreements refuse to bargain and negotiate in good faith.

 They do not recognise in dollar terms the extra skills and workload we paramedics have had to embrace. 

By doing this they also set a poor example to the private industry sector.

 For years the likes of teachers, nurses and paramedics have been undervalued, and for any pay increase the government insists it has to be offset by ‘productivity’ increases, even though in the emergency ambulance industry ‘productivity’ has never been defined. 

Essentially, what government means is that whatever pay increase they give with one hand will be met with working conditions reductions taken away with the other in a dollar-for-dollar manner. 

For months now, despite paramedics’ union employees having prepared our log of claims and meeting with Ambulance Victoria management and DHS representatives, they, and therefore all Victorian paramedics, have been met with stalling and an almost complete lack of preparedness on the part of government to treat paramedics (and others) justly.

Instead, they manipulate the system to their advantage, as ‘Fairwork Australia’ is by no means necessarily ‘fair’. 

Spending on health has been slashed, including at the Royal Children’s Hospital, but the government has money to waste through incompetence. 

It has paid consultants to explore and put forward plans for the possible privatisation of the emergency ambulance industry.

 Sounds American and scary to me; increased cost, decreased service. 

Have you seen Michael Moore’s documentary SiCKO? 

Until models of consensus and participatory democracy come into being, whereby governments are forced to have a real relationship with us all and be truly accountable, come election time, I for one will continue to vote informally. 

They won’t get my preference, but strangely they don’t like to talk about the ever increasing number of informal votes.

Good luck Victoria.

Each one of us need to have our say and be heard.

Editor’s note: SiCKO is a 2007 documentary film by American film maker Michael Moore. The film investigates health care in the United States, focusing on its health insurance and the pharmaceutical industry. It compares the for-profit, non-universal US system with the non-profit universal health care systems of Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Cuba.