Recognising The True Value Of Paramedics

The Andrews Labor Government has recognised significant changes to paramedic work requirements over the past ten years.

Upon coming to office, we resolved the paramedic pay dispute and referred paramedic pay rates to the Fair Work Commission, delivering on a key election commitment to end the war on paramedics.

In line with the Fair Work Commission’s recommendation, paramedics will receive a pay increase to reflect changes to their work value.

These changes to paramedic work requirements include:

  • An increase in qualification requirements: paramedics are now required to have a Bachelor’s degree, where previously a Diploma level qualification was required
  • Additional responsibility for mental health patients, following changes to the Mental Health Act 2014
  • Administration of complex new drugs and procedures that were previously only performed in hospitals

The Fair Work Commission’s recommendation follows 12 months of preparatory work, the exchange of substantial submissions, extensive witness evidence from paramedics and experts, and the cross examination of 12 witnesses during arbitration.

The arbitration process has clearly demonstrated that the work undertaken by paramedics is more demanding, more complex and requires a higher skill and qualification level than it did ten years ago. These changes are significant and unique to the paramedic workforce.

The rates recommended by the Fair Work Commission vary according to classifications. For example:

  • A First Year Graduate Paramedic will increase from a base rate of approximately $51,000 per year to approximately $58,000 per year
  • A First Year Advanced Life Support Paramedic wage will increase from a base rate of approximately $57,000 per year to approximately $72,000 per year
  • An experienced Mobile Intensive Care Paramedic wage will increase from a base rate of approximately $69,000 per year to approximately $87,000 per year

The first pay rise was awarded from 1 July 2015 and will therefore be paid retrospectively. Additional pay increases will be paid from 1 July 2016 and 1 December 2016.

The Fair Work Commission’s recommendation is available at: https://www.fwc.gov.au/cases-decisions-and-orders/major-cases/ambulance-victoria-work-value-case-2016/decisions-statements

Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy said:

“We are proud to be supporting our hardworking paramedics to do what they do best, which is save lives.”

“The work our paramedics do is more demanding, and requires more skills and qualifications than it did ten years ago – and it’s only right their wages reflect this change.”

“We’re investing in our paramedics after four years of crisis and neglect under the former Liberal Government.”