Membership Benefits, why should I join the union?
The Ambulance Employees Association of SA works with its members to improve wages and working conditions, further career prospects and provide industrial protection for all employees of the SA Ambulance Service. Members have access to the representation and support of experienced Union officers who use the collective bargaining power of the membership to gain positive outcomes wherever possible in industrial matters. We recognise that the concerns of workers are not always heard by their employer and that employers do not always act fairly in such matters as rosters, workers compensation, staffing levels and disciplinary matters.

As an AEA member you have access to high quality services and representation when you are dealing with industrial and legal issues at work.

Professional Indemnity Insurance (As required by AHPRA for registered paramedics)
The AEA holds a group policy on behalf of all members which provides professional indemnity insurance which is required by AHPRA.


  • Industrial legal coverage. The AEA has a long standing relationship with senior industrial lawyers and access these on members behalf as required to assist members when legal aid is required to resolve a workplace matter. This is commonly provided at no expense for assistance with the  Return to Work Act (formally WorkCover).
  • Personal Professional Legal advice which includes a free first consultation with our lawyers, Johnston Withers, on any matter, including discounts for subsequent sessions. Simply present your AEA membership card to access.

Industrial Protection
If you need industrial advice or assistance, members are invited to speak to one of our many Shop Stewards, State Councillors or Executive Councillors for assistance with the following:

  • Assistance with handling grievances
  • Protecting your entitlements
  • Assistance with disciplinary matters
  • Bullying and harassment issues
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Workers Compensation
  • Workplace Restructuring
  • Advice on Awards and Agreements
  • Keeping you informed of union activities and events
  • Any other queries about industrial matters

The best protection provided in the workplace is where members as a group take responsibility for ensuring that the employer acts fairly and sensibly.
Experience shows that in worksites which do not have many Union members, or that Union members are not active, conditions are less than in unionised worksites.

Collective Bargaining. Strength in Numbers.
Formed in 1980 by Ambo’s discontent with their current Union, the AEA now covers over 98% of the SA Ambulance Service including Paramedics and all Support Staff (Clerks, Stores, Technicians etc.) Since its formation, the AEA, through it’s members has:

  • Professional rates in 2008 – lifting paramedic pay by around 30 – 40%. The first in to win this in Australia by many years. Some States still do not have it.
  • Fairer disciplinary processes (still a works in progress).
  • Representation of many hundreds of members individually and in groups of various sizes and functions, on a broad spectrum of issues
  • Rolled in Rate (penalties) continued to be paid on Long Service Leave.
  • Increased staffing (and on-going campaigning to get more)
  • Actively seeking, and gaining, evidence to support and advance our members’ physical and psychological well-being. We have arrangements with four different tertiary education providers and other organisations to obtain evidence, support, and networking. They are all strong relationships, already delivering benefits.
  • Income Protection provisions for injured members beyond the Workers’ Compensation Laws (albeit still arguing interpretation in court)
  • Professional Registration
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance for all paramedic AEA members
  • Successfully protected ESS from dissolution (twice)
  • Improved Superannuation benefits.
  • Networks with both major political parties and some of the minor parties
  • Sustained strong working relationships with both the Government of the day, the Opposition and some Cross-Benchers (Independents).
  • The AEA is also a ‘political’ (not party political) organisation, so we must operate effectively in that space too. We are fiercely independent, so not affiliated with any political party.
  • Sound working relationships with other health unions, and unions in general.
  • Strong media presence, and public support;
  • Consistently maintained a membership  coverage of 98% +. A very rare thing in the union movement today. This did not happen by accident.
  • Keeps constant pressure on Governments and SA Health to stop the scourge of ambulance ramping
  • Naturally there are things we have not yet won such as reducing the utilisation rate, ramping and removing on-call, but we keep at it; just like all the issues we deal with.

Become an [ Ambulance Employees’ Association ] Member!