Paramedics in NSW are taking industrial action tonight after a last minute union decision.
- Paramedics union calls for wage increase above 2.5% cap rate
- Ambulance services experienced their longest delay and wait times during the Sydney Delta outbreak
- The strike will last five days, until June 1
The Australian Paramedics Association (APA) has moved forward with its industrial action at work which was due to start on Monday in lieu of negotiations with the NSW government over a pay rise and shortfall. of resources.
APA Industry Officer Bree Jacobs said the union, which caters to thousands of healthcare staff, was forced to act when the NSW government asked the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) to intervene.
“It’s very difficult under the state system for workers to go on strike,” said Ms. Jacobs.
“We are trying to fight for our rights and we are following the rules that this government has established.”
NSW Ambulance said in a statement that it had sought IRC support “to resolve this intended action.”
“Patient safety is our top priority, and NSW Ambulance has operational plans in place to minimize disruption to the community,” the statement said.
The action will result in paramedics opting out of recording billing information and remaining in their own home station area..
This would mean that patients who call triple 0 and receive emergency treatment from paramedics will not receive a bill.
But the union hopes that it is the state government that suffers.
“For the community, you don’t need to worry in an emergency, there will be an ambulance there,” said Ms Jacobs.
The NSW public service has a 2.5 per cent legislated cap on salary increases.
The union calls for the employment of 1,500 more paramedics, a network of specialists for community care and a salary increase.
At the height of Delta’s lockdown, Sydney’s hospital bays saw a backlog of ambulances waiting for hours until a bed was freed up.
The action, which will last for five days until June 1, comes after NSW Ambulance moved to provide alternative travel arrangements for patients not requiring emergency care.
“This program would only be used for people who have called triple 0, who have been assessed by a doctor as not requiring an ambulance response and who are unable to reach a healthcare provider on their own,” a NSW Ambulance spokesperson said. .
Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet said the move would help counter non-emergency calls to triple-0.
“What we are seeing, more and more now that people are calling triple 0 at times when there is not an emergency at hand.
“We’re going to spend more money on our paramedics as part of this year’s budget and that’s incredibly important because they do an amazing job on our front lines every day providing care and support.”
Ms Jacobs said praise from the prime minister’s office was not enough for “overworked paramedics”.
“Our health system is in crisis, the NSW government has a lot of empty words for all kinds of workers in the health system… but they won’t really take any action when it comes to that.”
Aware , updated