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NSW paramedics take industrial action, reject pay offer

Paramedics are taking industrial action but say it won't affect patient safety.

Paramedics are taking industrial action but say it won't affect patient safety. Photo: AAP

Paramedics are renewing industrial action to protest a four per cent pay offer from the NSW government.

Paramedics are refusing to enter patient billing information or report performance indicators, or attend special events which would place their home station below minimum staffing levels.

The Australian Paramedics Association says the action will ramp up on Monday and Tuesday when they will refuse to respond to non-emergency patient transfer jobs that could be undertaken by Patient Transport Officers or private providers.

The union says it’s taking action because not enough has been done to fix the emergency in the healthcare system that was exposed in two recent NSW government inquiries.

“Paramedics are sick and tired of being told how critical we are to the community, only to be left behind when it comes to paying us a fair wage,” union secretary Alan O’Riordan said.

“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 were attracting NSW paramedics with higher wages – some offering $20,000 sign-on bonuses.

“So it’s no wonder we’re seeing a mass exodus of great clinicians,” Mr O’Riordan said.

Last year’s ramping inquiry and rural and regional health inquiry both 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,” Mr O’Riordan said.

Ambulance response times state-wide were worse than they were in 2010, he said.

“It’s time for (Premier Chris) Minns to actually listen to paramedics and join us in helping the people of NSW.”

-AAP

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