It’s no secret, the world of a paramedic has become more and more complex over the years. With the proliferation of drug abuse and domestic violence, paramedics are required to act way out of their pay scale range.
Thankfully, today the Victorian government announced a wage reform for it’s thousands of State Ambulance Service paramedics.
“$54 million wage upgrade”
Ambulance Victorian paramedics are set to receive a pay increase of up to $18,000. This forms part of the $54 million wage upgrade, after the state government accepted the role of a paramedic has become much more involved, challenging and complex over the past decade.
Paramedics have more responsibility for attending and responding to mental health patients, as well as administering complex new drugs and procedures that were previously only done in hospitals.
The pay rates vary according to classifications, although under the new changes an experienced mobile intensive care paramedic would get an $18,000 rise, from a base rate of $69,000 a year to $87,000.
A first-year graduate paramedic would get a $7,000 rise, to $58,000 a year.
“The announcement recognised the considerable skills of paramedics”, Ambulance Victoria’s Mick Stephenson said.
Paramedics in Victoria are among the best trained in the world
“Paramedics in Victoria are among the best trained in the world and the most skilled in the world. It’s nice to see their value has finally been recognised,” he said.
The Andrews government did a deal (when they were elected) with the Ambulance Employees Association to stamp out a long-running dispute over wages.
In March, the Fair Work Commission heard evidence about the increase in skills and responsibilities paramedics have required over the past 10 years and found that “these changes constitute a significant net addition to work requirements”, said Health Minister Jill Hennessy.
The paramedics’ union and government then entered into fair work conciliation last week to agree to a pay increase.
The Health Minister said Labor was accepting all the recommendations because it valued the excellent and difficult work paramedics did. The retrospective payment to July 1, 2015 will cost the budget $54 million.
“We think it is fair, just and reasonable,” Ms Hennessy said
This is an amazing win for paramedics in Victoria but also for those paramedics who are working under the same conditions and hopefully, this will pave the way for increases in paramedic salaries right across Australia.