Illawarra paramedics join rally as anger over lack of pay deal grows

  • Published October 10, 2023
  • Industries

Illawarra Mercury, 10 October 2023

Off duty paramedics from the Illawarra travelled to a statewide rally in Sydney to protest a lack of action from the NSW Government on increasing their wages.

The rally was the second in a month to be held by members of the Ambulance Division of the Health Services Union, which is campaigning for the government to change the way paramedics are paid to recognise their professional status.

Wollongong resident and paramedic Tess Oxley was among the union delegates leading the rally, which began at the Union's NSW Trades Hall.

The signs of the Illawarra contingent focused on the message that "paramedics are professionals and not ambulance drivers" and said "more $000s" were needed as "every MINNute counts".

Paramedics have expressed anger at the NSW Premier Chris Minns and Health Minister Ryan Park, as they say they have not been given what was promised to them in the lead up to the March election.

In July, the government and the health union - which also represents cleaning staff, security and allied health workers - agreed to a deal giving many of the state's health workers a $3500 flat rate pay rise.

Paramedics will not be covered by that deal, and mare making their own professional rates claim to have their wages brought on par with other states.

Following Labor's first budget in September, Mr Park said the government had made "a significant investment in frontline services", by allocating funding for 500 new regional and rural paramedics, many of whom will be specialists.

"I do understand there are challenges around the remuneration and professional recognition at the moment, and I'm actively engaged in those discussions," he said.