Paramedic rise worries Hodgman

PREMIER Will Hodgman would not say yesterday when the government would decide whether or not to appeal against a decision to give Tasmanian paramedics a pay rise estimated at $7 million a year.

The Tasmanian Industrial Commission announced the 14.1 per cent wage increase last week, 15 months after the Health and Community Services Union requested it review the work value of paramedics.

Unions have welcomed the decision, but Mr Hodgman said it did not sit with government wage policy.

"We are concerned and interested to understand the reasons for the decision and also to understand the full budgetary implications," Mr Hodgman said.

HACSU state secretary Tim Jacobson said the Liberals could appeal based on an error of law, but not on their ability to pay.

"We are concerned and interested to understand the reasons for the decision and also to understand the full budgetary implications'' - Will Hodgman

"There were submissions provided by Treasury to the case in relation to the economic impact of this decision and they were considered," Mr Jacobson said.

He said he did not think the commission's decision would have wider implications for other unions or occupations.

"Where it might be applied - which based on our claim, we relied heavily on - is in other jurisdictions," Mr Jacobson said.

"So it would for example be a great decision for West Australian paramedics who might be looking at mounting their own case."

Community and Public Sector Union general secretary Tom Lynch said the decision was a wake-up call for the new state government.

"It's not like it's going to set expectations around wages, but what it will do is say that there is an alternative if wages are falling behind what is being paid in other states because of the government's wages policies," Mr Lynch said.

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation state secretary Neroli Ellis said she did not think the decision would have much impact on current negotiations with the state government regarding the work value of senior nurses.

Mrs Ellis said the negotiations were initiated before the paramedic case started.

She said the decision could, however, influence enterprise bargaining agreement negotiations for entry-level nurses in December.

"Now that a base-grade ambulance officer's coming in above the entry level of a base-grade nurse, that needs to be reviewed," Mrs Ellis said.

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