NSW paramedics refuse patient transfers in 24-hour pay dispute row

HSU NSW secretary Gerard Hayes says health workers are reluctantly taking industrial action.

HSU NSW secretary Gerard Hayes says health workers are reluctantly taking industrial action. Photo: AAP

A 24-hour ban on transporting discharged patients home from hospital will be in place across NSW as paramedics and patient transfer officers join forces to demand an end to wage caps.

Health Services Union NSW secretary Gerard Hayes said workers were reluctantly going ahead with the industrial action in light of crumbling morale and stalled wage negotiations.

“They’re making the decision to leave (the state) because they can’t afford to live here and they see no wage increase on the horizon,” he said earlier in the week.

Mr Hayes said he was mindful the action would leave at least 1000 patients who would have been discharged in a hospital system already under pressure, but exclusions would apply for end-of-life patients and those on dialysis.

Labor was swept to power in March on the promise of abolishing the public sector wages cap and increased pay for frontline workers.

Premier Chris Minns said he was confident of the progress made in wage negotiations with unions across NSW, but it would take time to sort through.

“We believe that we’re in the process of developing an offer to representatives of public sector workers in NSW,” he said.

But Mr Hayes said he had seen no meaningful movement on wages since Labor was elected.

Opposition health spokesman Matt Kean said he didn’t support the strike action but health workers were “right to be angry at being lied to”.

“Chris Minns promised to scrap the public sector wage cap, but can’t tell anyone what wage increases the unions are demanding, what it will cost the budget, how it’ll be paid for or when the cap will be scrapped,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

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