Illawarra paramedics want NSW Ambulance management to come clean - literally.
Just three 24-hour stations throughout the Illawarra and Shoalhaven have a cleaning contract - Wollongong, Oak Flats and Bomaderry.
That leaves paramedics to clean up the mess in the remaining six stations in the Illawarra - Helensburgh, Bulli, Warrawong, Dapto, Kiama and Berry - and another six in the Shoalhaven.
Paramedic Matt Anderson, state councillor of the Ambulance Division of the Health Services Union or ADHSU, said his colleagues shouldn't be forced to mop, vacuum and dust in their downtime.
He said negotiations with NSW Ambulance had not yet rectified the issue, and the union would not rule out industrial action to "eliminate an outdated practice left over from an era well and truly in the past".
"No one is paid to come in and clean these stations so for many years they have been cleaned on an ad hoc basis by staff," Mr Anderson said.
"Despite recent talks, there is no financial commitment as yet to undertake the cleaning of all stations across the Illawarra/Shoalhaven zone.
"Paramedics are health professionals who shouldn't be undertaking the role of cleaning stations in the limited downtime that they have.
"This time should be spent on professional development and preparing themselves for their next patient."
Mr Anderson said no other health professionals were required to clean their workplace - and paramedics shouldn't have to either.
"You don't see nurses mopping the floors in emergency departments," he said.
"NSW Ambulance state headquarters at Rozelle has a cleaning contract in place and staff are certainly not required to clean that facility."
Mr Anderson said the union was calling for an "immediate short-term cleaning solution" by an appropriately accredited cleaning company at all stations in the region.
He said this should be a stop-gap measure while NSW Ambulance undertook a "thorough tendering process to include all ambulance facilities across the Illawarra/Shoalhaven".
A NSW Ambulance spokesperson said the service had "every intention" of appointing cleaners to a number of stations in the Illawarra. The spokesperson said tenders had been issued and cleaners would be appointed "ASAP".
However the spokesperson would not confirm how many stations - or which ones - would have cleaners contracted to them.
Mr Anderson added: "We weren't aware tenders had been issued for some stations and while we'd welcome that, we still want a firm commitment that all stations will have accredited cleaners."