New pay rise offer falls 'dramatically short' for NSW paramedics, union says

  • Published December 8, 2023
  • Industries

9 News, 8 December 2023

The Health Services Union has rejected an offer from the NSW government for increased pay for paramedics of up to 25 per cent.

An 11 to 25 per cent pay increase over four years was presented to the HSU by the health minister and the treasurer, who say the offer meets the union's demands.

The offer would have seen an average increase of 19.6 per cent, with the most experienced paramedics getting an additional $34,000 in their pay packet.

Union boss Gerard Hayes said earlier today that he would be open to putting an offer forward to members if it met their expectations.

Hayes told 9News following the mediation meeting that the offer was "dramatically short of where it needs to be".

"The offer that's been put forward over four years barely deals with the consumer price index increases at the moment," Hayes said.

"Some of our paramedics are (performing procedures) that doctors do in the ICU.

"The reality is paramedics are leaving today, and they are going to other areas, I am trying to prevent a catastrophe.

"We are here to look after you, please help us get this solved, we want to stop paramedics from moving to other states."

The HSU says paramedics' roles have changed drastically over the past 12 years, and their pay should reflect that.

Health Minister Ryan Park said the government was "bitterly disappointed" that the offer was rejected.

"This would match NSW paramedic salaries with those in Queensland on the basis of take-home pay, by 1 January 2025," Park said.

"This is what they have asked for.

"This is the largest government pay increase in recent history, and will take NSW paramedics from some of the lowest paid to some of the highest paid in the country."

More than 2000 paramedics have refused to renew their professional registration until their demands are met, leading to concerns that the triple-zero system will collapse on January 1 when their licences expire.

"If this means that triple-zero collapses on 1 January, it will be a disaster for the people of NSW," Park said.

"Vulnerable people will suffer the most, and it may cost lives."

Hayes said he is "really worried" that NSW ambulances will be left short-staffed if demands are not met before the January 1 deadline.