Priority 1 Public Resources

Why are paramedics taking action?

You may have seen paramedics taking action recently. Perhaps you have seen the messages on the side of ambulances. These union members are taking a stand to protect the people of NSW and ensure our state’s healthcare is second to none.

Your first step in supporting NSW paramedics is to read this page.

What is professional recognition?

Paramedics in NSW are highly qualified and highly skilled health professionals. They are required to hold AHPRA registration as health practitioners and have tertiary qualifications as a standard. However, the NSW government refused to officially acknowledge paramedics as professionals and NSW paramedics are the lowest paid of any paramedics in the country.

Paramedicine has expanded enormously and rapidly in the last 15 years. Paramedics now possess a wealth of skills and knowledge that can save lives and even commence clinical pathways that keep patients out of hospital and treated properly from home – if their professional expertise is recognised. However, the NSW Public Service Wages Policy currently restricts movement on professional pay.

ADHSU paramedics have worked with the NSW government for months in a special taskforce. The taskforce looked at redesigning the paramedic role to maximise benefits to the community, while recognising them as health professionals and allowing for parity of wages not restricted by the wages policy.

Unfortunately, the government has failed to address the outcomes of the taskforce.

Why is this important?

NSW paramedics are the lowest paid and most injured paramedic workforce in Australia. Many NSW paramedics are leaving for Queensland because the NSW system doesn’t provide for paramedic professional recognition. Others are leaving the industry for other jobs where their value is appreciated by their employer. This could leave our NSW ambulance service dangerously under-resourced.

We are asking for professional recognition and parity in wages with other equivalently qualified Health Practitioners. The benefit to the community and the NSW Health system is clear, particularly in rural and remote areas.

How can you help?

Paramedics appreciate your support! You can help us by downloading our petition to NSW Parliament and asking all your family and friends to sign it.

Please mail completed petitions to Stuart Hatter c/o HSU Locked Bag 3, Australia Square NSW 1215.

You can also ask any of your local candidates in the upcoming election if they support professional recognition and pay equity for NSW paramedics. If they don't, ask them why.

When you see a chalked ambulance, give a shout and a wave of support!