Campaign for compo rights
Victorian Emergency Services workers have condemned the Kennett Government and the State's WorkCover Authority for the removal of their rights to sue negligent employers and third parties under common law. In a historic joint sitting of representatives from the Executives of Victorian Ambulance Employees' Association and the Victorian Police Association, a resolution was passed calling for a repeal of section 134A of the government's Accident Compensation Act. The resolution "condemns the removal of rights for emergency service workers to sue their employer or a third party if seriously injured whilst on duty." The "joint meeting signifies the beginning of a campaign to inform emergency service workers and the general public about the removal of rights experienced by those who put themselves at risk daily to protect our community." The meeting also condemned the "WorkCover Authority for its political role in the stripping back of the rights and entitlements of injured workers by supporting the 1997 amendments to the WorkCover legislation." Ambulance Employees' Association Secretary, Rod Morris, said that Emergency Service workers face danger and take calculated risks daily in the belief that others will honour their obligations, such as providing a safe and healthy working environment. "All we are seeking is the right to pursue those who cause us harm in our jobs as a result of their negligence. It is a basic right that everyone should be entitled to." Graham Kent, Assistant Secretary of the Victorian Police Association, said Association members are constantly confronted by extremely stressful and traumatic situations in their work. "Employers, like everyone else, have obligations. The Victorian Government and the WorkCover Authority also have obligations, particularly to those who provide special services to the community. "We are going to campaign to make sure the public are made aware of what is at stake here."