HSU turns down NSW government’s pay increase offer for state’s paramedics

HSU turns down NSW government’s pay increase offer for state’s paramedics
  • PublishedDecember 8, 2023

The Health Services Union (HSU) along with Unions NSW said the government had inflated the base pay for paramedics in its offer of pay increases of 11 to 25 per cent over four years.

In an online meeting, HSU president Gerard Hayes said he was “outraged” by the “inadequate offer”.

“They do not understand how serious this is,” he said.

“The Minns government is misleading the public.

Health Services Union National President Gerard Hayes
Health Services Union National President Gerard Hayes at a Zoom meeting for union members where they discussed the NSW government’s pay offer. ABC News(ABC News)

“More than 500 paramedics have left New South Wales in the last six months. Many hundreds more will leave in the next six months.”

In a statement, the HSU hit back at the government, claiming it had “deliberately” inflated paramedics’ pay.

A press release issued by the state government listed the base salary of first-year paramedics as $123,594 instead of $74, 364.

“The inadequate offer we received this morning does not fix the problem. Under this proposal we will never catch up with Queensland. And that means paramedics will just keep leaving,” Mr Hayes said.

Union members who attended the online meeting voiced their concerns.

“They say they can’t have paramedics paid more than RNs (registered nurses),” a union member said.

“If that’s the case we need to go to war.

“I think this offer is absolutely rotten.”

NSW Ambulance paramedics are seen at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney
More than 1,500 paramedics said they will not be re-registering making it illegal for them to operate by New Year’s Eve.(AAP: Bianca De Marchi )

It comes after the union said more than 1,500 ambulance officers boycotted their professional registration over the pay dispute in mid-November.

The move saw paramedics choosing not to re-register with the professional regulator whose cut off date was November 30, rendering them legally unable to attend triple-0 calls by New Year’s Eve.

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park said the decision posed “risks and danger” to the community.

“If that many paramedics decided not to turn up from 1 January, a minute past midnight on New Year’s Eve, that threatens to collapse triple-0,” he said.

“New South Wales government has made a record offer to deliver professional rates of pay for paramedics with the average of a 19 per cent pay rise. This is a once-in-a-generation offer.

“This would match New South Wales paramedic salaries with those in Queensland on the basis of take-home pay by 1 January 2025. This is what the union asked for.”

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park speaking to the press standing  in front of am australian flag and aboriginal flag
Mr Park described the government’s pay offer to paramedics as “once-in-a-generation”.(ABC News)

Treasurer Daniel Mookhey said the government had sought arbitration from the Industrial Relations Commission.

“I well and truly accept the fact that paramedics might want to punish the government. They shouldn’t be punishing the public by bringing an end to triple-0,” Mr Mookhey said.

The union and government will now head into mediation by the independent umpire to resolve the dispute.


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