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NSW paramedics call for backflip on cuts

AAP logoAAP 16/08/2016

Cuts to paramedics' working conditions could force many on to welfare if they are badly hurt on the job, union leaders claim.

Income protection for injured workers has been drastically cut by the NSW government under a watered-down Death and Disability scheme that kicks off at the weekend, the Australian Paramedics Association (APA) NSW says.

Under the changes, paramedics who become partially disabled will receive payments worth 75 per cent of their base wage nine months following their injury, APA president Stephen Pearce says.

But the payments will stop after two years, leaving workers at risk of losing their homes, he claims.

"They're just thrown onto the scrapheap," he told AAP on Wednesday.

"The job is becoming more dangerous than ever, they are being assaulted in the workplace.

"We need something that protects paramedics."

The veteran paramedic has called on the state government to "find the money", especially as the changes could turn people away from the job.

But a NSW Ambulance spokeswoman said the previous scheme was "financially unsustainable" and the new one was approved by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.

"Paramedics will no longer have to pay towards the scheme as they were previously required to do," the spokeswoman told AAP.

In addition, the new scheme doesn't change the lump sum payment to the families of paramedics who die on or off duty.

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