The union representing over 1000 St John Ambulance staff has today received confirmation from the Employment Relations Authority that St John has lodged an application to withdraw from bargaining without concluding a collective agreement.
If St John were to be successful they would be the first company to withdraw from bargaining without concluding a collective agreement under the 2015 amendments to the Employment Relations Act.
Jared Abbott, spokesperson for Ambulance Professionals First, the network within FIRST Union representing ambulance officers, said the application confirms what the union suspected: that St John had no intention of reaching an agreement.
“St John have spent less than two hours with us at the table since we started our protest actions. Applying to conclude bargaining now is outrageous. This is no way to treat your staff.”
Mr Abbott said that despite writing to the company on several occasions and requesting a proposed collective agreement, St John repeatedly refused to make a formal offer.
Ambulance Professionals First has also written to St John highlighting how no collective agreement was presented to the ratification meetings for the smaller unions who agreed to settle, a requirement under the law for a collective agreement to become operative.
“We’re astounded with how unprofessional St John has been. Ambulance staff just want fair recognition for the hard work they do. This is only going to get more staff off-side,” said Abbott.
“We don’t believe St John’s application will be successful.”