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Paramedic union dismisses government's pay offer

The Shepparton-based Ambulance Employees Union representative has slammed the latest wage offer from the Victorian Government as 'misleading and insufficient'.

ALEXANDRA BOLKAS December 10, 2013 4:51am

The pay dispute between the Victorian Government and paramedics shows no sign of ending soon.

A paramedic union representative says a pay deal will not be reached until the Victorian Government proposes a wage rise to give paramedics parity with other states.

Shepparton paramedic and Ambulance Employees Union state council representative Kelvin Tingate said the latest proposal of a 12 per cent increase across three years was misleading and insufficient.

‘‘It should be calculated over five years because the last pay rise was in 2011,’’ Mr Tingate said.

He said when the figure was calculated across five years, it gave paramedics a 2.4 per cent increase a year, well below the union’s asking rate.

‘‘What we’re asking for is pay parity with the likes of South Australia and ACT, which is $25000 on top of what we currently get,’’ Mr Tingate said.

By 2016, Victorian Health Minister David Davis said paramedics with at least six years of experience — ALS6, the most common experience bracket — would earn a remuneration package of $110000.

He said paramedics in the ALS6 bracket would receive superannuation contributions of $9600 a year, leave loading of $1300 and fringe benefits of up to $9000 a year.

A sign-on bonus of $1500 had also been offered.

‘‘This is a generous package by anyone’s standards, but it is a fair package that values the work of our highly-skilled paramedics,’’ Mr Davis said.

But Mr Tingate, an ALS6 paramedic, said the figure was ‘‘quite deceptive’’.

‘‘That’s not money that anybody gets to take home, if you’re a young person, you might be 30 years old and not have access to your superannuation for years,’’ he said.

‘‘The bottom line is we’re looking for a dollar per hour payment; what you can rely on coming in.’’

Mr Tingate said paramedics routinely worked around the clock and successive governments had not kept pace with ambulance transport workload.

He said he could not foresee a resolution to the 18-month long pay dispute.

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