The NSW government has filed legal proceedings in a bid to scrap a historic allowance paid to aeromedical control centre officers.
The lawsuit, which was filed by the Secretary of the Ministry of Health last month, seeks to overturn a decision by the state's Industrial Relations Commission upholding the allowance.
These payments of less than $100 a week are paid to 25 aero paramedic coordinators and have been in place since at least 1987.
In April 2020, the IRC found the allowance was not included in the relevant award and had not been authorised by anyone from the state government, but ordered the payments still be made based on employment contracts with the officers.
An appeal of that was unsuccessful with the full bench ruling in October 2021 that the dispute was better finalised by applying to vary the award or seek a new one.
The NSW Supreme Court lawsuit seeks to overturn both decisions.
"The jurisdictional errors in the primary decision and the full bench decision warrant a declaration as to the effect of those errors, especially when the Secretary has continued paying the ACCO allowance," the government says.
The state branches of the Australian Paramedics Association and the Health Services Union are sued in the proceedings.
Both unions have urged the court to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the industrial watchdog made no error.
HSU NSW secretary Gerard Hayes called the lawsuit "short-sighted penny pinching".
"The public gets tremendous value from these committed, highly skilled aeromedical paramedic coordinators, a fact already recognised by the Industrial Relations Commission. The Ministry should accept the umpire's verdict rather than engage in frivolous appeals," he said.
The unions argue the case is futile because the IRC is now deciding whether to vary the award to include the allowance.
The APA has also been contacted for comment.