Control Centre Officers: Time to think big

  • Published September 20, 2023
  • Industries

NSW Ambulance Control Centre Officers have been grappling with an outdated and ill-suited award for far too long. Control Centre Officers face the daily stress and trauma of coordinating Triple 0 calls, offering vital support in critical moments. They have stood in solidarity with on-road colleagues during their fight for professional recognition. Now, it's time to turn the spotlight on their own challenges.

Members will recall, earlier this year, the Minns government offered 4.5% (including superannuation increase). ADHSU members in NSWA, primarily comprising operational paramedics, rejected this offer, and told the government that no changes to paramedic pay should occur until professional recognition occurs. While paramedics remain focused on the Priority 1 Professional Pay campaign, it's vital that Control Centre Officers are not left behind.

Currently, discussions with the Ministry of Health are underway to address this. One possible solution under consideration is the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry and the Union. This MOU would allow Control Centre Officers, who are governed by the same award as paramedics, to receive a 4.5% cost-of-living adjustment to their wages and super now (backdated to first pay period after July 1), while their on-road colleagues continue their battle for professional pay. Members can anticipate an update on this MOU option soon.

However, more important is recognising that, with the NSW public sector wages cap now expired, union members now have an opportunity that has not been available since before 2011: the chance to make real change to the award that governs their working lives.

This process has already commenced for the 2024 award, with initial delegate discussions, but it is essential to understand that reshaping the award will take time and call for the input and imagination of all members. Now is the moment to contemplate not only minor enhancements but also to envision how we can reshape this award to reflect members’ hard work more accurately, making it the gold standard it should be.