The State Government welcomes the decision by the independent industrial umpire to order the Ambulance Employee Association (AEA) and all its members not to encourage or promote any industrial action relating to the working of overtime during October.
The State Government had been advised there were concerns about the ability to provide the expected level of ambulance services on each Monday in October because of an industrial campaign being arranged by AEA members.
“The government’s priority in this action has always been placing patient safety ahead of industrial action,” said Treasurer Rob Lucas.
Commissioner Cairney of the South Australian Employment Tribunal today rejected union claims this campaign wasn’t industrial action and has ordered the union to publish his Orders on its Facebook page and website.
Commissioner Cairney determined that the “No Overtime Mondays” Facebook campaign organised by some AEA Members was industrial action and made the following orders:
That the AEA and persons employed in SAAS:
(a) not encourage, incite, promote or organise any industrial action involving any persons employed in SAAS;
(b) immediate stop or desist from organising or promoting any industrial action involving any person employed in SAAS;
(c) not organise, promote, aid, abet, procure, or encourage any person employed in SAAS to engage in industrial action; and
(d) not publish or republish, whether in paper form, electronically or otherwise, any promotion or encouragement for any person employed in SAAS to engage or threaten to engage in industrial action.
The Commissioner found that the AEA was assisting one of its members to “portray” the campaign as employees exercising their right to decline voluntary overtime, so that it could not be construed as industrial action. However, in fact, the AEA was fully aware of the conduct of its members.
This Order comes into effect at 5.00pm today and shall remain in force until the start of the first shift in SAAS on 1 November 2019.