$30 million hole forcing St John Ambulance to cull 100 jobs

Source: 1News

A $30 million financial hole due to Covid-19 disruption will force St John Ambulance to cull 100 jobs, 1 NEWS understands.

As 1 NEWS revealed earlier this month, the organisation has seen a significant drop in income, and was not eligible for the Government's Covid-19 wage subsidy.

As a result, the organisation was being forced to make drastic changes.

"The continuing impact from Covid-19 on our income has worsened our financial position further, meaning we now need to recover $30m of savings in the next financial year," chief executive Peter Bradley said in an email to staff, which 1 NEWS has seen.

"Some of these savings will need to be made by reducing staff numbers in most areas and this will unavoidably mean a loss of up to 100 jobs across St John."

Mr Bradley also indicated in the email that St John could see a reduction in their usual staffing levels with employees encouraged to take annual leave, but no one else coming in to fill in for them.

"Continuing our focus on reducing annual leave liability across the organisation – in particular, there will be a focus on supporting operational staff with excessive leave balances to take leave; we will not be backfilling these absences through recall."

Mr Bradley told 1 NEWS in a statement is would attempt to minimise changes to frontline ambulance services.

"Other cost savings measures the organisation will be making is removing personal-use cars (and where possible redirecting these to frontline use), stopping face to face frontline clinical education training for one year, freezing pay increases for those in senior roles (excluding those on a collective contract) and applying organisational pay restraint, scaling back on non-critical project delivery, significantly reducing travel and accommodation by up to 65 per cent and reducing building lease costs while combining some workplaces," he said. 

The executive team would be reduced. 

"These are tough decisions and while it is regrettable, it's important we take action now to responsibly manage St John through this difficult period to maintain a service that is fit for the future."