Paramedics in NSW will continue industrial action over pay and work conditions despite facing consequences for unauthorised strikes last week.
Last Thursday, paramedics across the state went on strike over an “insulting” pay rise offer made by the state government, attending life-threatening jobs but eschewing less serious incidents.
More than 300 nurses and midwives also undertook a separate strike, walking off the job in Lismore, Campbelltown and Liverpool.
The 1.4 per cent pay increase, rejected by the union in May, is below inflation, which NSW Treasury forecasts at 2.2 per cent for the coming year.
Neither strike was approved by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission, meaning the unions could potentially face fines.
But Australian Paramedics Association NSW president Chris Kastelan on Thursday said industrial action would continue.
Paramedics will avoid using electronic medical records and refuse to record billing details for patients, making it difficult for NSW Health to recoup ambulance fees.
They’ll also cover their vehicles in messages written in chalk, calling for better conditions.
Mr Kastelan said the government’s pay offer was a kick in the teeth after an exhausting year on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Paramedics just want to be treated fairly, and to have the work they do recognised as important,” he said.
“With this government, it has never been clearer how little they care.”
Australian Associated Press