NSW paramedics call off strike action after IRC steps in

PARAMEDICS in New South Wales have agreed to abandon planned strike action this weekend over a new rostering system after the Industrial Relations Commission ordered the Ambulance Service to enter arbitration with its workers.

NSW paramedics had planned to walk off the job on Saturday over the regional rostering system which they said would be "dangerous and unworkable".

Health Services Union acting industrial manager Tom Stevanja said Wednesday's ruling, which modified the commission's decision last week to allow the rosters, was a win for paramedics.

As a condition of the ruling the union agreed to abandon its planned strike action.

It means the new rosters will come into effect from Saturday.

"Our delegates have voted unanimously to accept President Boland's recommendations, and phase one of the introduction will go ahead," Mr Stevanja said.

Mr Stevanja said the union would present evidence at the arbitration, which has been set down for December 17-18, showing the effects of the rosters on paramedics and their families.

"This decision converts the next few weeks into a trial period after which His Honour will be reviewing the workability of these rosters," he said.

"This is a win for us. All along we've been seeking a fair hearing in the IRC, and that is what we have now been promised. We're confident that when our evidence is presented these so-called 'roster reforms' will be halted right across NSW.

"We believe that the trial will show that the Ambulance Service is unable to make these rosters workable."

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