Today’s meeting with the Health and Community Services Union was a good opportunity to discuss a range of issues, including the paramedics’ pay case.
The Government has a tough budget challenge that we need to address so we can afford to fund essential services into the future, however I’m pleased HACSU agreed to shortly commence initial without prejudice talks aimed at finding a sensible and sustainable resolution to this issue.
It’s important to note that if court action was withdrawn in the interim, our advice is that this would effectively end the government’s appeal rights and would mean an immediate 14% increase would immediately apply, which is clearly at odds with today’s agreement for without-prejudice discussions.
We have the utmost respect for our paramedics and we value the dedication and hard work of all our health professionals and we will continue to work with HACSU to achieve an appropriate outcome.
Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health