On the horizon

Management Review
2021 heralds a review of the lower-middle management positions/roles within St John. These are Station Managers, Shift Managers, Shift Supervisors, Territory Managers, Clinical Standards.

NZAA will be watching closely as these positions/roles are reviewed/rescoped as they have such a wide variance across the country due to the different interpretations given them by the various levels of management. While there is no consistent agreement as to what each function should encompass, the work force review highlighted multiple discrepancies and the negative effects this was having on both the workforce extending down to the provision of clinical care. NZAA and St John do agree that a review be held as a priority.

Intensive Care Paramedic review
NZAA has been asked to provide a response on the Intensive Care Paramedic position review in the first quarter of 2021. This review has been on the horizon for several years. Hopefully when this is completed the goalposts will stop moving for them and the position will really become that is attainable.

Casualisation of the workforce
NZAA has placed St John on notification that it has concerns over the increasing level of casualisation which currently extends to over 10% of the workforce. With Paramedic registration occurring as from 20 January 2021, the effects of casualisation will become more pronounced as the accountability and responsibility that comes with registration is more evident. The ability to maintain currency of registration by a casual officer working 20% of the hours of the full-time paid officer will be greater as will the ability to maintain an appropriate level of clinical competency. It is quite noticeable currently that casual officers struggle to maintain clinical competency when they are only able to work a nominal amount of hours, often due to the lack of available work or the lack of need/desire to work an appropriate amount of hours. What NZAA argues is that while there is a requirement for flexibility with hours of work, these would be more effectively covered with part-time contracts rather than increasing the level of casual staff. This makes for a more stable workforce that enables more efficient and effective medium to long term planning. Casuals are often abused by some TMs in that they work them knowing that they won’t complain as they’re looking for the never coming permanent position.