Update on paramedic award pay increase & back pay

  • Published March 11, 2024
  • Industries

ADHSU members on the Paramedics Award know that last year’s hard fought interim pay increase to paramedics, due to kick in Jan 1, has not yet landed in bank accounts.

It’s reasonable to expect an employer to adequately administer its payroll. The problem is, NSWA outsourced its payroll to HealthShare (note HealthShare is a NSW Health entity) to save money – now ADHSU members are being told that HealthShare doesn’t have enough of the staff needed to adjust health workers’ pay packets in a reasonable amount of time. In all conversations with NSW Health, ADHSU members have been very clear that this is not acceptable.

New starters
New starters, including the newly recruited paramedic interns, have also somehow been put on the old rate, being paid as if they were employed under the now-rescinded 2022/23 Paramedic and Control Centre Officer Award. It’s pretty strange when you think about it, especially given they will also need to have backpay calculated and paid at a later date. Surely it’s better simply pay them the correct amount from day one?

80+ brand new ADHSU members in the last grad intake took a stand, signing a petition to Health demanding that they, and all new starters, have their pay rate immediately brought into line with the new award. They should be congratulated. ADHSU delegates have just been informed that all new starters will be paid the correct rate from payday 28/29 March (with full backpay). Well done for taking a stand and collectivising so early in their career.

Preexisting staff
One knock on effect of the grads petition is that HealthShare have realised they can also update a number of preexisting paramedic award classifications and backpay on 28/29 March.

If you are a preexisting employee, and are on a classification that has not had extra increments added to it, the MoH has undertaken to update your pay with full back pay on 28 March. However, if for example under the new award you are a paramedic yr 6, you will only have pay backdated to what was the highest previous level, which was paramedic yr 2. Currently the MoH is telling delegates new classifications will not have their pay fully updated or back paid until further in the year (they said end of April).

It is not okay for an employer to outsource its payroll to another entity only to be told that entity has run down its staffing to the point that new starters, and some preexisting employees will have their pay rise in bank accounts 3 months late, and all others ‘the end of April’.

ADHSU members continue to fight for the market rate of interest to be applied to all backpay (plus a $100 P/W) penalty for each week the employer failed to provide the current award rate.

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