He also encouraged people to speak up, saying he understood that it “isn’t easy and that often one feels so vulnerable or fearful to do so, but it is time and I give you my word and promise to that we support you and when you speak we will act “.
The video message comes after a second union accused Ambulance Victoria of a culture of bullying and harassment. It is unsafe for the mental health of the staff and examples of the harm suffered are being passed on to WorkSafe as well as an investigation by the Human Rights Commission.
Jill McCabe, CEO of Professionals Australia, the union that represents corporate and office workers in the ambulance service, has asked WorkSafe to conduct its own investigation into mental health issues and workplace risks at Ambulance Victoria.
The union brought Ambulance Victoria to federal court earlier this year after five workers were dismissed without notice in February after complaining through the union of “unacceptable work culture, bullying and harassment” at work. It is alleged that the workers were fired without the consultation guaranteed in their company negotiation agreement. The case is scheduled for November.
It was also revealed on Wednesday that a paramedic attempted suicide outside of Ambulance Victoria earlier this year after being troubled by suspected workplace bullying.
Two sources, both paramedics, related Age that a colleague attempted suicide in April “because no one at Ambulance Victoria or WorkSafe was taking their allegations seriously and he believed the only way to investigate was to see the coroner.”
“My friend spoke often about the need for a Royal Mental Health and Culture Commission in AV. Although the harassment was not sexual, the behavior can only be described as bullying, victimization and discrimination against my friend who had mental health problems in AV, “said a paramedic Age.
“It’s widespread and there [are] massive cultural issues in AV that nobody wants to address, “he said.
Advanced Life Support Paramedic Rasa Piggott, who sent an open letter to Ambulance Victoria Chairman Ken Lay and the board of directors Monday night outlining widespread gender discrimination, bullying and harassment in the workplace, underpinned the Paramedics allegations.
Ms. Piggott said her colleague paramedic was fortunately feeling well again and hoped to go back to work soon.
These workers already have a statutory right to safety at work and Ambulance Victoria has an obligation to ensure this.
ACTU President Michele O’Neil
On Tuesday morning Tony Walker, CEO of Lay and Ambulance Victoria asked Victorian Equal Opportunities and Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton to open an immediate independent investigation. Health Secretary Martin Foley and Mr. Walker thanked those who whistled for staff abuse.
Professionals Australia also called on Commissioner Hilton to record allegations of bullying against its members. One of its members, who chose to remain anonymous, said: “I have been seeing a psychologist since last year, which has helped me, but I am so traumatized that it is so difficult to get to work every day.
ACTU President Michele O’Neil said Age, “These workers spend every shift trying to save lives. You should be safe, supported and respected in Ambulance Victoria. ”
“It has now been almost eight months since the Morrison government received the Australian Human Rights Commission report on the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces – Respect @ Work. The government has not responded to a single recommendation made in this report, ”she said.
“We welcome the announcement of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission’s investigation, but action must be taken immediately. These workers already have a statutory right to safety at work and Ambulance Victoria has an obligation to ensure this.
“The same effort, energy and resources that have been devoted to preventing attacks on first responders should be used to end the sexual harassment and discrimination against these workers.”
“Victims of sexual harassment take a lot of courage to speak up, and they are often understandably fearful of the consequences. Respect @ Work recommended that all sectors take industry and occupation-wide action now to tackle sexual harassment rather than burdening individuals with reporting.
“This year, allegations of sexual harassment were reported in a number of industries. I want to encourage boards of directors and leadership teams across Australia to recognize that we are a turning point and to take positive action to ensure that every worker has a safe and respectful workplace. ”
Individuals who have experienced discrimination or sexual harassment can contact the Commission’s Inquiry Line on 1300 292 153 for more information about their rights and the complaint.
Wendy Tuohy is a high-ranking Sunday age writer.
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