Back on March 5 I blogged on a case before the NSW Industrial Relations Commission where New South Wales paramedics were seeking permission to establish their own union and to break away from the Health Services Union (HSU) (see “Two important cases start in court this week“). The Industrial Relations Commission approved that application on 12 June 2013 (see Application by Emergency Medical Services Protection Association (NSW) for registration as a State Industrial organisation of employees [2013] NSWIRComm 35 (21 May 2013) and Application by Emergency Medical Services Protection Association (NSW) for registration as a State Industrial organisation of employees (No 2) [2013] NSWIRComm 47 (12 June 2013)).

It’s interesting to see that the HSU is not actively promoting its role as the union for paramedics “Recently the HSU established the Ambulance Division of the union to provide a dedicated industrial service for Ambulance Officers” (see http://www.hsu.asn.au/ambulance/ and https://www.facebook.com/HSUAmbulance).

Of course I’m not a paramedic so I have no view which union (if any) will provide the best coverage for paramedics. My purpose here is simply to report on the outcome of proceedings before the Industrial Relations Commission, but one can’t help but observe, as an outsider, that competition may have had some impact upon the HSU.

Michael Eburn
21 July 2013