The Ambulance Service of NSW yesterday welcomed a decision from the Industrial Relations Commission which ruled in favour of reforms to paramedic rosters in regional NSW.
Acting Chief Executive Mike Willis said the decision from His Honour, Justice Staff supports the Ambulance reform process.
"Ambulance is changing paramedic rosters to better meet the needs of the communities of regional NSW," Mr Willis said.
"In regional NSW where peak demand period continues into the evenings, on-call paramedics currently face extended work hours due to the high number of disturbances out of hours.
"The new roster system sees additional shifts introduced during this peak evening period to reduce that need for paramedics to be called out after hours. This helps support better patient response and helps minimise staff fatigue."
Mr Willis said Ambulance agreed to the recommendations of Justice Staff.
These recommendations were:
o Ambulance will undertake a review of the workability of the rural reform rosters in respect of phase one, after such rosters have operated for a period of three consecutive 28 day roster periods.
o Ambulance will take into account the desires of paramedics to work particular days, as well as instituting recommended human resource management processes to deal with grievances if they are not addressed at local level.
o Ambulance will liaise with Local Health Districts with a view to minimising, as far as possible, non-urgent hospital transfers between midnight and 8am, and any other matters to assist with addressing paramedic fatigue.
o In line with the Industrial Relations Act 1996, the Health Services Union and Ambulance employees are not to organise, participate or be involved in any industrial action arising from the introduction of the rural reform rosters at regional non-24 hour stations which provides for the working of an eight hour day shift and an eight hour afternoon shift.
The introduction of new rosters will be undertaken over a number of weeks to enable paramedics to make the necessary adjustments to family and child care arrangements.