'Suck it up': Paramedics warn NSW government as industrial action continues

  • Published September 12, 2023
  • Industries

9 News, 12 September 2023

The NSW premier is being warned a pay fight with paramedics is going to get "painful" as the militant Health Services Union steps up its campaign for better pay.

About 50 paramedic members of the union marched on the Minns government's ministerial office tower in Sydney on Tuesday morning, demanding action to address professional rates of pay.

The HSU claims the pay of NSW paramedics does not reflect an uplift in skills and training over the past decade.

For example, paramedics can now administer medication to a patient suffering a heart attack, which can dissolve the clot, and stave off the need for long stays in hospital intensive care units.

HSU general secretary Gerard Hayes said his members aren't "out putting on Band-Aids".

"They do the work of an intensive care theatre, in your home, in your workplace, in the car accident," Hayes said.

"Unless we pay paramedics what they're worth, they'll keep moving to Queensland and Canberra.

"There's a strong moral argument to lift pay, but an equally pressing practical issue.

"We need to keep our paramedics in NSW."

The HSU said paramedics in Queensland are paid about 40 per cent more than their NSW counterparts.

The union is now warning Premier Chris Minns that rallies and industrial action will continue to escalate, the longer negotiations drag on.

"This is going to get more and more painful every day and there will be no analgesia for it. You'll just have to suck it up," Hayes told cheering members.

Health Minister Ryan Park says he will continue to negotiate with the union.

"To make sure that we can get an outcome that is sustainable, but also recognises the enormous contribution that our paramedics make," Park said.