Chris Minns determined to resolve pay negotiations with NSW paramedics to avoid 'catastrophic' collapse of triple-0 system

  • Published December 10, 2023
  • Industries

Sky News, 10 December 2023

The Health Services Union recently rejected a hefty pay rise offer from the state government for paramedics, arguing the proposal fell "drastically short" of where it needs to be.

NSW Premier Chris Minns says he is determined to achieve a breakthrough in negotiations with the Health Services Union on pay for paramedics before the triple-0 system goes into meltdown.
The union recently rejected the NSW government's offer of a 19 per cent increase in salaries of paramedics over a four-year period.

HSU boss Gerard Hayes said the offer fell "drastically short" of where it needed to be and failed to account for the enormous increase in the cost of living seen in recent months.

Base pay for a first-year paramedic is estimated to be just $74,109, according to a report from the ABC.

Speaking to Sky News Australia on Sunday, Mr Minns pushed back on claims he has not been supportive of the profession and their demands for wage increases.

"Last week we offered a 19.5 per cent increase in salaries over a four-year period for NSW paramedics," he told Political Editor Andrew Clennell.

"Take home pay, they would be the best paid in the country, more than Queensland.

"So, we have sat down in good faith to work on a negotiated outcome here."

Mr Minns pointed to the likely "catastrophic" outcome should talks continue to stall.

More than 2,000 paramedics have pledged not to renew their professional registration for the new year until an agreement is reached.

Failure to renew would leave many paramedics unable to legally answer triple-0 calls by New Year’s Eve.

"If a big number of paramedics don’t register by the 1st of January then Triple-O will go into meltdown and it would be catastrophic for emergency services in NSW," Mr Minns said.

"We are trying everything we can for forestall that.

"And that has got to be the priority of both the union and the government. I know there have been hundreds of hours of negotiations."

The NSW premier maintained he wanted to see a positive outcome for both parties.

"I want to break through, I think the people of NSW do as well," he said.

"And I think paramedics do as well.

"We want to make sure that we can get that money into their hands and keep paramedics in the system."

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park previously stated he was “bitterly disappointed” the union walked about from the deal.

"Our state now faces the real possibility of a collapse of our triple-zero service," he said.