Paramedics demand bigger pay rise as deadline for strike looms

  • Published July 5, 2023
  • Industries, 5 July 2023

Dozens of paramedics stood on the doorstep of the Premier’s office in an effort to pressure him to accept a pay demand.

Paramedics have sent a firm message to Premier Chris Minns that if they aren't given recognition of their work – through better pay – they will strike on Monday.

Almost 100 paramedics and union delegates donned their uniforms and marched through Martin Place during the lunchtime rush towards Mr Minns’ office.

Health Services Union NSW secretary Gerard Hayes questioned why Mr Minns hadn’t delivered on promises made during the election after more than 100 days on the job.

The paramedics have been calling on the government to recognise their work as medical professionals by way of better pay.

“You are not ambulance drivers and yet they seek to pay you as such,” Mr Hayes said on the steps of Mr Minns’ office.

The union claims paramedics are not recognised as medical professionals despite independently observing patients, making diagnoses and saving lives.

“The issue that we have before us is that promises were made,” Mr Hayes said.

“We don’t ask for anything more than to hold up your end of the bargain.”

The paramedics were particularly riled up by the government’s refusal to meet their demands before the 100-day milestone.

“We got you here, we can get you out,” one paramedic yelled out during the rally.

Better pay and conditions for the state’s healthcare workers was at the centre of Mr Minns’ election campaign earlier this year, and the union said he hadn’t followed through on the promises that got him elected.

At the HSU annual conference on Tuesday, the union’s 74,000 members renewed demands for a 6 per cent wage bump or a flat $3500 annual salary boost for their workers.

The government was issued a three-day deadline to respond to the demand by Friday before paramedics begin industrial action on Monday, July 10.

It comes after state Treasurer Daniel Mookhey offered a 4 per cent pay rise and a 0.5 per cent boost to superannuation.

“Where is Chris Minns? Why isn’t he here?” Mr Hayes demanded while glancing back at the office building.

Mr Minns is on leave for a few days to spend some time with his children while they are on school holidays, Acting Premier Prue Car confirmed in an interview with Sky News earlier on Wednesday.