Paramedics threaten 'office action' over pay row

PARAMEDICS in the south-west fighting a protracted pay battle have flagged the possibility of strikes after unions announced new measures yesterday to step up pressure against the state government. 

Union members at Warrnambool’s Victoria Ambulance station will start neglecting paperwork to “annoy management”. 

Warrnambool MICA paramedic and union delegate Jock O’Connor said strike action was now an option but said crews would only proceed with “office-type stuff” such as disruptions to reports and auditing.

“As for what the patients see it will be nothing,” Mr O’Connor said. 

“There’s nothing that the public should worry about.” 

However, the Ambulance Employees Association (AEA) voted to escalate the pay row now spanning more than a year, voting last week to strike if the government stands its ground. 

“It gives us the option to stop work if it comes to it. The end result could be very dramatic,” Mr O’Connor said.

Both sides are at a stand-off over the pay claim. 

The state government is offering a 12 per cent rise over the next five years, including six per cent in the first year. 

But the union has accused the government of asking it to trade off too many conditions. 

AEA assistant secretary Danny Hill would not go into detail on how strike action would be rolled out but told The Standard “we would never do anything that would put the community at risk”.

“We won’t go into further detail ... it will only happen as a last resort.”

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