Paramedics protest threat
PARAMEDICS say they will protest outside the offices of local MPs if action is not taken to tackle the NSW Ambulance Service's roster overhaul.
A handful of paramedics from the Northern Rivers will travel to Sydney tomorrow to meet Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis and other state MPs to make their concerns heard.
The ambulance service wants to change rosters to put paramedics on a seven-days-on, two-days-off arrangement.
It is understood their shifts would be reduced from the current 10 hours to eight hours but paramedics would then be on call when their shifts ended.
The Ambulance Service claims the changes would help manage fatigue, but the Health Services Union argues the proposal would increase fatigue and put undue stress on the personal lives of paramedics.
"We want to have the ambulance service talk to us and consult with us regarding the rosters," Health Services Union North Coast organiser Ken McIntosh.
"We are prepared to go into roster reforms; this is not about money."
A paramedic told The Northern Star letters had been sent to each MP on the Northern Rivers, inviting them to meet and discuss the issue.
The source said the next step would be paramedics, families and friends marching on the offices of local MPs to get their attention.
Mr Gulaptis said he agreed to meet a few paramedics tomorrow morning to hear them out but was also mindful there were two sides to every story.
"I suggested, if they wanted, to come down (to State Parliament) and I would try to bring along MPs to that meeting that would listen to the staff perspective of how the rosters would affect them," he said.
"They do have some merit and that merit is based on the fact it's not about the money for them. It's about the fatigue and the stress to be placed on them."
Mr Gulaptis said he hoped a "middle ground" could be reached.