ADHSU delegation to meet the Premier on 17 November
As most members will recall (welcome to hundreds of new members who have joined since July), ADHSU membership recently engaged in a very serious industrial campaign on the subject of pay. This included action that limited the types of jobs that ADHSU paramedics would respond to, and publicly defying IRC orders.
While the action was highly effective and well supported (many people joined to take action) it was a last resort – ADHSU members are proud patient advocates so action that restricts certain responses weighs heavily on everyone.
The action achieved some of its early objectives, such as this year’s full 2.5% allowable under the government’s draconian wages regulation, but didn’t fix PROQA and didn’t fix last year’s pay freeze. Despite this, members voted to shift focus to the larger fight for professional pay for paramedics. The Minister agreed to a meeting on the subject, but Delta struck only a few days later.
Most members elected to pause industrial activity to spend all energy on fighting Delta and keeping each other and patients as safe as possible. This was the right thing to do from a patient advocacy point of view, it gave NSWA operational management space to focus on the pandemic, and it maintained a lot of capital with the public.
As NSW is opened up, it’s reasonable to expect the lowest paid, highest injured paramedics in the country to reopen the fight for professional recognition.
ADHSU delegates will be meeting with the Health Minister and new Premier on 17 November. The subject is a road map to paramedic professional pay, and how it will be funded. Delegates are hoping the Premier and Health Minister agree to a reasonable road map. If that happens, members and delegates will spend the coming months building and presenting undeniable evidence that there is a disconnect between the value that NSW paramedics bring to bear for the community, and the commensurate renumeration that they are rewarded with.