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Should ambos pay for someone else’s cockup? [With Poll]

By johnboy - 15 November 2012 38

The ABC reports that overpaid ambulance officers are being asked to hand the money back, despite the overpayment not being their fault.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) says 80 per cent of frontline ambulance officers have received letters saying they have been significantly overpaid because of errors in personal leave records.

The errors were revealed in a recent audit and were made by Shared Services which is the department responsible for public service pay.

TWU spokesman Ben Sweaney says he has referred the matter to the workplace ombudsman and asked the ACT Government to intervene.

“We’re talking in amounts in excess of $40,000 through shear blunder by executive management and no fault of the officers involved,” he said.

Between the complications of the tax system, loadings, overtime, and variable hours it really is a bit much to expect staff to know what they should be getting paid IMHO.

Should the ambulance service just take it on the chin?

Overpayment of ambos

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38 Responses to
Should ambos pay for someone else’s cockup? [With Poll]
Chop71 10:34 am 16 Nov 12

johnboy said :

2CC reports the ambos have won.

#$%^ me dead, So because some humpty couldn’t process pays properly ACT taxpayers have been slugged extra funds to prop up ambos pays. One guy got a $44,000 bonus. wow, reading your weekly payslip must be like playing lotto for these guys.

littlevixen 9:58 am 16 Nov 12

Antagonist said :

* Puts Devils Advocate Hat On:
It is a condition of service in both the ACTGS and the APS that staff must know their conditions of service. It really is NOT too much to expect staff to know what they are getting paid. Their conditions of employment dictate that they MUST know what they are getting paid, or what leave entitlements are due to them. It is all set out for them in their Certified Agreements.

Overpayments are rarely the fault of the payee, but this does not change the fact that the Ambo’s received payment or leave credits beyond their legal entitlements. They should have to pay it back, just like any other public servant who receives too much leave credit, overpaid salary, higher duties allowance etc. They are not going to be expected to pay it all back as a lump sum.

*Changes Hat to “In defence of the Ambos”:
As for the errors in personal leave records, I can’t help by wonder if these overpayments stem from just a few years ago when all ACTGS personnel functions were centralised to Shared Services. At that time, most payroll areas were trying to upload leave records onto the new payroll system (Chris21 – known by payroll staff as Crisis 21). Only a small handful of ACTGS agencies had done personal leave uptakes correctly before all ACTGS payroll staff relocated to Civic. ACT Health was not one of those agencies.

The ACTGS leave records were a horrible mess when I left several years ago. Looks like nothing has changed.

Totally agree. I left just as SS was coming into being. At that point we’d be on Chris21 for 2 years and were still doing leave manually on the old fashioned leave cards because the new you-beaut system couldn’t do leave properly. Even then there were rumours that leave for anyone on shift work was being calculated incorrectly but Management at the time were more concerned with implementing Shared Services and hiding the fact that Chris21 was a dud.

johnboy 9:36 am 16 Nov 12

2CC reports the ambos have won.

Bonejac 11:13 am 15 Nov 12

actually its got more to do with the fact that staffing levels are so low that the paramedics are incurring incidental overtime pretty much every shift and annual leave is not being taken or granted at a regular basis – 10 hour day shifts and 14 hour night shifts routinely go over time – ambos dont just clock off at end of shift like regular office workers if a call comes in and your still working get it. added to this are extended waiting at hospitals etc. Annual leave is difficult to take in its entirety – ‘due to operational needs’ clauses – ACTAS is not the only service with this problem, all ambulance services suffer from ‘interesting’ pay office account keeping and pay disputes between and pay office are quite common.

Tetranitrate 10:53 am 15 Nov 12

I’d be in favor of having the muppets responsible for the cock-up pay it back.

Chop71 10:50 am 15 Nov 12

Antagonist said :

They should have to pay it back, just like any other public servant who receives too much leave credit, overpaid salary, higher duties allowance etc. They are not going to be expected to pay it all back as a lump sum.

Correct. I don’t see why (just because of their profession) they should get an exemption.

NoImRight 10:49 am 15 Nov 12

So does this largesse here relate to all professions or just ones seen as noble?Would you be so keen if it was a car salesman, ATO staff or some other mundane activity? I have no opinion on their pay rates as such but Id be happy if ambos earnt a fair salary. If this mistake is seen as giving them what they “should” get their should be moves made to change what they earn not rely on an admin error.

A mistake is still just a mistake and you shouldnt deliberately take advantage of someone else.They may not have known at the time (melodramatic statements about blood and guts aside Im sure they spend time on paperwork too) but they do now. Id suggest it be repaid over the same time period they were overpaid.

Postalgeek 10:47 am 15 Nov 12

bundah said :

johnboy said :

It could be ambos have better things to do with their time at work than reconciling their pay slips.

Like scraping blood and guts off the road and putting broken people back together.

They’re worth every cent and then some.

1 They deserve more than this.

Antagonist 10:47 am 15 Nov 12

* Puts Devils Advocate Hat On:
It is a condition of service in both the ACTGS and the APS that staff must know their conditions of service. It really is NOT too much to expect staff to know what they are getting paid. Their conditions of employment dictate that they MUST know what they are getting paid, or what leave entitlements are due to them. It is all set out for them in their Certified Agreements.

Overpayments are rarely the fault of the payee, but this does not change the fact that the Ambo’s received payment or leave credits beyond their legal entitlements. They should have to pay it back, just like any other public servant who receives too much leave credit, overpaid salary, higher duties allowance etc. They are not going to be expected to pay it all back as a lump sum.

*Changes Hat to “In defence of the Ambos”:
As for the errors in personal leave records, I can’t help by wonder if these overpayments stem from just a few years ago when all ACTGS personnel functions were centralised to Shared Services. At that time, most payroll areas were trying to upload leave records onto the new payroll system (Chris21 – known by payroll staff as Crisis 21). Only a small handful of ACTGS agencies had done personal leave uptakes correctly before all ACTGS payroll staff relocated to Civic. ACT Health was not one of those agencies.

The ACTGS leave records were a horrible mess when I left several years ago. Looks like nothing has changed.

DUB 10:37 am 15 Nov 12

Morgan said :

40k?

How much does an Ambo earn? That sounds like six months salary to me. I would like to understand the specifics of he case, but as employees we know how much leave we are entitled to so surely such a large discrepancy would seem odd, and be worthy of a query. Am I really entitled to this much leave etc.

Kind of like if my employer suddenly started paying me double, I’d know something was up. Reading the article maybe it has been occurring over a very long period.

The answer to your question is here.Not as much as you may think:

http://www.jobs.act.gov.au/site_search?mode=results&queries_all_query=ambulance

bundah 10:32 am 15 Nov 12

johnboy said :

It could be ambos have better things to do with their time at work than reconciling their pay slips.

Like scraping blood and guts off the road and putting broken people back together.

They’re worth every cent and then some.

johnboy 10:27 am 15 Nov 12

It could be ambos have better things to do with their time at work than reconciling their pay slips.

Like scraping blood and guts off the road and putting broken people back together.

pptvb 10:17 am 15 Nov 12

MMR said :

The way it was reported in the news was that they got extra leave. Surely you’d notice if you got more leave than you’re entitled to? I’d sure notice if my leave balance was higher than it should be and I’d question it.

Maybe they are like my staff. If they think they’ve been under paid I hear within minutes, if they’ve been over paid…..silence.

Morgan 10:04 am 15 Nov 12

40k?

How much does an Ambo earn? That sounds like six months salary to me. I would like to understand the specifics of he case, but as employees we know how much leave we are entitled to so surely such a large discrepancy would seem odd, and be worthy of a query. Am I really entitled to this much leave etc.

Kind of like if my employer suddenly started paying me double, I’d know something was up. Reading the article maybe it has been occurring over a very long period.

MMR 10:03 am 15 Nov 12

The way it was reported in the news was that they got extra leave. Surely you’d notice if you got more leave than you’re entitled to? I’d sure notice if my leave balance was higher than it should be and I’d question it.

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