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Paramedics and government face tribunal on pay dispute

A pay dispute between paramedics and the NSW government will be heard by an industrial tribunal in the hopes of resolving the crisis before the end of the year.



Paramedics and the NSW government will appear before the industrial umpire in the hopes of resolving a long-running stoush over pay.


The bitter dispute has plagued the Minns government for more than eight months as paramedics point to higher salaries offered to their colleagues in the ACT, Queensland and Victoria.


The Health Services Union (HSU) and government officials will meet at a hearing before the state's Industrial Relations Commission on Monday afternoon. 


The union rejected a pay offer last week that would have lifted salaries by an average of 19 per cent over four years.


The complex offer did not match base pay for Queensland paramedics and would leave NSW workers short-changed, the union said.


If a deal is not struck by the end of the year, 2100 paramedics have threatened to allow their professional registrations to lapse on January 1. 


This means paramedics would be legally unable to attend triple zero calls from New Year's Day if they do not apply for renewal.


Health Minister Ryan Park warned the state's triple zero emergency system could collapse on one of the busiest nights of the year if the matter was not resolved. 

Premier Chris Minns and Ryan Park want the paramedics' pay dispute resolved before the new year.


"We've made it clear that we are happy to continue the discussion around refining that (offer) and what that might look like," he said on Monday. 


"But we always have to understand that we are working, just like any government and just like any family is, in a budgetary challenging position."


The HSU has accused the government of sharing misleading figures as part of its proposed pay rise, including inaccurate sums for Queensland paramedics' base rate in making interstate comparisons.


NSW secretary Gerard Hayes told hundreds of members at a stop-work meeting on Friday that the state's paramedics were the lowest paid and highest injured among their counterparts.


Premier Chris Minns said on Monday the government offered to import the Queensland pay system into NSW, but the union rejected that option as it would result in worse overtime rates and conditions, despite higher base pay.


"One thing the government has said from the very beginning is that we believe paramedics need to be paid more than they currently are being paid," he said.


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