BALLARAT'S MICA paramedics say they have been threatened with dismissal if they resign from their specialist roles on Wednesday.About 300 MICA paramedics statewide will resign if an agreement over better pay and conditions is not reached.On Thursday night, Ballarat's 19 MICA paramedics received a letter from Ambulance Victoria general manager Greg Leach, saying that failure or refusal to perform work as required and directed was not protected industrial action under the Fair Work Act."(This) will breach your contract of employment with AV," the letter read.It stated that MICA paramedics needed to confirm by 9am on Monday that they would do their full duties as required under the MX Award and their employment.MICA paramedics are Victoria's highest qualified paramedics, above Advanced Life Support paramedics. In a letter to AV and the State Government, the paramedics outlined specialist skills that would be lost if they resigned.These included intubation, chest decompression and drug injections for asthmatics.A Ballarat MICA paramedic who wished to remain anonymous said AV had taken their previous letter as an actual resignation.He believed AV's response meant if officers continued their proposed action, there would not be a job for them in Ballarat, even as Advanced Life Support paramedics."But we haven't actually resigned ... the letter indicated we are looking to step down from our MICA skills unless we have a satisfactory outcome," he said."No one is going to respond to this letter because we haven't resigned."But Ambulance Victoria general manager of specialist services, Mark Rogers, said the letter was issued to remind staff of the possible ramifications of their action."We have never indicated that paramedics may be sacked due to their threat to withhold intensive-care skills," he said."As was outlined in the letter, paramedics withholding their skills is in breach of their employment contract and is something that would constitute unprotected industrial action and may be investigated by Fair Work Australia."
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