Paramedics on strike over “insulting” pay rise

Health workers are taking industrial action from today in an effort to push the State Government to jack up a pay increase offer.

The NSW Government’s pay offer of 4 per cent plus 0.5 per cent increase to superannuation was waved through the Industrial Relations Commission lat last week, but the Australian Paramedics Association (NSW) has labelled it as an insultingly low amount.

Until next Wednesday 2 August, Paramedics will refuse to enter patient billing information, refuse to report KPIs, and refuse to attend special events which would place their home station below minimum staffing levels.

That industrial action will escalate next week with an additional 24-hour action from Monday 31 July to Tuesday 1 August, by refusing to respond to non-emergency patient transfer jobs that could otherwise be taken by Patient Transport Officers or private providers.

APA NSW Secretary Alan O’Riordan said paramedics are sick and tired of being left behind.

“After winning an election on the back of promises to properly pay essential workers, we can’t believe the Minns Government thinks we’re only worth that much.

“Other states are poaching our Paramedics away with much higher wages – some even with $20k sign-on bonuses on top – so it’s no wonder we’re seeing a mass exodus of great clinicians.

“When we take this action, we’re really doing the Government a favour by forcing them to fix their own broken healthcare system.”

The union is taking this action after seeing little movement on much-needed changes to fix the emergency healthcare system, outlined in two recent NSW Government inquiries. The 2022 Ramping Inquiry and the 2022 Rural and Regional Health Inquiry – both called for by Labor in opposition – recommended funding more regional specialist Paramedics, ensuring better availability of primary healthcare services, and expanded Patient Transport services.

“We’re still seeing Paramedics sitting with patients in hospital bed block for hours and hours on end,” said Alan O’Riordan.

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