Triple Zero Call Takers In Victoria Vote For Industrial Action

Triple Zero call takers in Victoria have voted to take industrial action starting Monday, December 18, as part of an ongoing negotiation with Triple Zero Victoria. 

The workers handling emergency calls said their actions will not impact emergency responses.

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As part of the industrial action, call takers will wear union uniforms, cease reporting or recording false alarm codes, and relay union messages over the radio. 

They also plan to undertake work stoppages, carefully coordinated to avoid affecting emergency responses, alongside other measures.

Workers are pushing for better staffing, access to accrued leave, improved training, a pay structure based on experience, and an increase in the base salary for trainees, which currently stands at $48,000 per year.

Negotiations with Triple Zero Victoria, formerly known as the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA), commenced in February. 

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Earlier this year, parliament passed legislation to rebrand the organisation and bring it under government control following a damning report that highlighted fatal failures.

Represented by the United Firefighters Union, Victorian Ambulance Union, Communications Workers Union, and United Workers Union, the call takers are seeking to address long-standing issues affecting their working conditions.

Victorian Ambulance Union Secretary, Danny Hill, expressed frustration at the current base salary, deeming it an “insult” to emergency workers. 

“If Triple Zero Victoria does not properly value their staff as emergency workers and pay them accordingly, they will have the same problems as ESTA,” Mr Hill said.

Sue Riley, Secretary of the Communications Workers Union, highlighted the problem of understaffing, saying, “Our members can’t get their leave approved even 18 months in advance”.

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