Over the weekend, ADHSU delegates were offered a surprise meeting with Bernie Riordan, a Fair Work Commissioner (Federal system).
The meeting was held at 1630 on Monday 4 December at the HSU office. Present were ADHSU delegates, Secretary Gerard Hayes, and representatives from the Ministry of Health and NSW Ambulance. Mr. Riordan has offered his services as a mediator for these pay discussions.
While members firmly rejected the government’s offer of a pay negotiation process that would have required all current actions to be dropped and the outcome decided by a third party, it would not have been strategic to refuse to meet Mr. Riordan, and this new process has so far not called for members to hand in their most important bargaining chip – the registration boycott.
Delegates detailed the hard work put in by the ADHSU paramedic professional taskforce over 18 months meeting with government. They also impressed Mr. Riordan with many personal accounts of the lifesaving interventions now performed by NSW paramedics that continue to be unrecognised.
What was most clear to delegates, however, is that the government is keen to resolve this dispute as soon as possible and avert the potential disaster that could come their way on New Year’s Eve.
A follow up meeting has been set for Thursday 7 December, where delegates have been asked to present a short document summarising the work of the taskforce for Mr. Riordan to present to Mr. Minns and Mr. Mookhey directly. This is the next step in taking this pay increase to the Expenditure Review Committee for approval.
Please see a video message to members providing a short summary of this meeting at this link. These video updates will continue.
As these negotiations continue this week, members must stay strong – it’s the only thing keeping the politicians’ attention firmly fixed on resolving this issue. Without the boycott, NSW paramedics would probably be subjected to whatever endless process the government preferred to determine pay. With it, members hold the power to stop attrition to other states and create lasting change.