NWAS AOM & SP Indicative Survey

Our Senior Paramedics and Assistant Operational Managers have asked for an Indicative Survey of members over NWAS’s decision to not pay them any more in recognition of the extra responsibilities they have under the new SPTL role. We ask all of our AOM and SP members to access the survey here:


The survey closes on June 2nd 2017.

NHS Pay Review Body Consultation on 1% Pay Award 2017

Dear NWAS UNISON branch member,

The NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) has recommended a 1% consolidated pay increase for all NHS Staff on Agenda for Change contracts. The Government has accepted the recommendation and pay for NHS staff will be increased from 1 April 2017. This is the consultation on how UNISON should respond. We want to know how members in your branch feel about the annual pay award and where you want UNISON, at branch, region and national levels, to put the most resource.
This is about the focus of national and regional UNISON resources. The Health Service Group Executive has not received soundings that there is the level of support necessary for a successful industrial action ballot so formally recommends that our efforts should instead be dedicated to an “earnings maximisation” strategy. However, we are running this consultation to check that this judgement is correct. If branches choose the “earnings max” strategy, we will dedicate resources to branches to deliver projects on those lines.
We are using “earnings max” as a shorthand for campaigns the Health Group could run to improve member earnings. This could include country-wide work such as pursuing a national approach to reprofiling band 1 jobs into band 2, regional projects to identify and resource high profile rebanding campaigns, as well as training and support for branches to pursue local campaigns in areas such as: living wage claim; local recruitment and retention premiums; challenging downbanding/supporting banding reviews; holiday pay and sick pay based on accurate earnings; and improved shift patterns.
If branches choose national industrial action to challenge the 2017/18 pay award, our national resource will be used to provide the administrative and logistical support needed for a national ballot.
OPTION A – Earnings maximisation
OPTION B – Resource a national ballot to challenge the 2017/18 pay award

We are now consulting with our members on Agenda for Change contracts for a Branch Decision. Please click on the following link to let us have your choice. Responses are needed by the 2nd May at the latest:

Please click on the following link to let us know your choice:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/nhspayconsultation    This has now closed.


Jeff Gorman

Branch Secretary


Government announces 1% pay award for NHS staff

The government has announced that NHS staff in England will receive a consolidated pay increase of 1% from 1 April. The Welsh and Scottish governments have also awarded 1% while continuing to pay the living wage as a minimum. In Scotland, there is also a £400 minimum pay rise for staff earning less than £22,000. There is no response to the pay recommendation yet in Northern Ireland.

This is yet another below-inflation pay award and the NHS can’t go on like this. It simply isn’t right for NHS pay to be held back while the cost of living keeps rising.

We’re not stopping the fight for a better deal for NHS staff. NHS staff give 100% and they deserve to get more than 1% on pay. We remain opposed to the pay cap and we will continue our efforts to make sure you are properly rewarded for the vital work you do.

But pay is about more than this 1% increase. We know important unsocial hours payments are to many NHS staff which is why these payments are not up for discussion – now or in the future. Should the government ever decide to threaten these payments UNISON will stand firm to defend them.

We also know that employers have been chipping away at other terms and conditions, so we know we need to take practical steps in local workplaces too.

We are working on plans to make sure you NHS staff get everything they are due, from fair job banding to correct holiday pay. We think this is the most effective way of making a difference to earnings quickly and we have started consulting branches on our plans.

You can contact your branch to find out more. If you do not know who to contact in your branch you can use our online branch finder. Alternatively you can call UNISONdirect on 0800 0 857 857.

The NHS is facing difficult challenges – every day NHS staff are responding to these challenges, and providing the very best of care and support to patients and their families

Healthcare staff have now sustained six years of pay restraint at great cost to their living standards, and causing great damage to their morale.

Pay restraint has resulted in the equivalent annual pay cuts of £2,288 for a cleaner, £2,818 for a ward administrator, £4,846 for a nurse and £6,134 for a midwife.

The government has a choice.

It can choose to restore the independence of the well-regarded Pay Review Body system to make the pay recommendations it believes are needed to maintain recruitment and retention at the levels the service needs.

Or it can allow the current, unsustainable staffing situation to spiral out of control.

Take action by writing to your MP today.

UNISON is serious about fair pay for NHS staff

Our pay campaign for the coming year includes:

  • continuing to lead the fight for a fairer deal for all NHS staff;
  • seeking rapid progress in talks to renew the Agenda for Change pay structure;
  • campaigning against low pay and for the living wage to be applied across the UK;
  • remaining vigilant against the threat to unsocial hours payments.

Join Our Members Only Forum

Why don’t you come and join our exclusive chat forum? Simply click on the Forum tab at the top of the page and register. Once your membership has been verified you will have full access where you can chat with other members from across the Trust. The best part is you cannot be identified by any other forum user so it is completely anonymous, and that is guaranteed.


NWAS Paramedics Successfully Match to band 6

We are pleased to announce that N.W.A.S. Paramedics have successfully matched to the new paramedic band 6 profile. This has come about as a result of a lot of hard work by UNISON and other unions. The new pay grade is payable from 31st December 2016 and it is hoped that the pay will be seen in the March pay packet.

The N.W.A.S. management said “this outcome is welcomed by the Trust and represents an enormous amount of hard work and effort on the part of the Trade Unions and employers nationally and locally to review the paramedic role in light of the evolving demands and requirements faced by ambulance services in the modern NHS”.

UNISON meets NHS Pay Review Body to make the case for fair pay

UNISON has met with the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) to present evidence on behalf of UNISON members. We presented a clear case that NHS staff both need and deserve a fair cost-of-living pay award. In our annual pay survey, carried out over summer, over 21,000 UNISON members responded. You told us that:

  • Nearly two-thirds of you feel worse off than you did 12 months ago.
  • 59% of you rely on unsocial hours payments to sustain your standard of living and 34% rely on overtime payments.
  • Just under one-fifth of you took on work in addition to your main job, with nearly two-thirds of those doing so because your basic salary is not enough to meet living costs
  • Nearly half of you had asked for financial support from family or friends and 11% of you had used a payday loan company
  • 70% of you say there are not enough staff in their unit to do the work required and more than half of you work unpaid overtime

The evidence session with the NHS PRB was our chance to tell your stories and make the case that UNISON members deserve a decent pay rise, to reflect both changes to costs of living and to recognise the extraordinary dedication of NHS staff in delivering services to the public.

Time to bust the 1% pay cap

UNISON has set out specific asks for returning to fair NHS pay. These goals include:

  • A return to UK-wide pay scales, levelling up to Scotland scales as a minimum
  •  A restructure of Bands 1-3, delivering the real Living Wage and maintaining pay differentials between bands
  •  A fair pay award for all staff to reflect cost of living increases

We have been clear that these steps are necessary to return to a fair, UK-wide NHS pay structure and that the Government must abandon the unnecessary 1% public sector pay cap.

Next steps

The PRB usually reports to the Government around February time, with the Government issuing a response in March. We will keep you updated throughout the process.

Want to talk more about pay?

Talk to your local UNISON branch and find out more about how you can get involved in the union.


Joint Ambulance Trade Union Statement

2 December 2016

Paramedic banding update – Action needed – Update your details today

In September we announced that the NHS Staff Council had agreed to publish a new Band 6 paramedic profile along with technical guidance from JEG to help local matching panels evaluate their current paramedic roles.

In November we announced the publication of the profile and technical guidance for local matching panels along with details of the overall package we have been in discussion about with employers and other key system stakeholders (such as NHS England, NHS Improvement, commissioners).

We know that our paramedic members are waiting anxiously for news on the progress of the paramedic banding programme. Following our last joint notice we have been lobbying national NHS bodies to ensure the outcomes of local job matching panels are funded nationally and not a cost pressure on individual ambulance services.

The consequences of ambulance services footing the bill will be reorganisations and cuts to other roles. We have been clear that this represents a red line for us and we will use our collective industrial strength to push against this outcome. We need the government to confirm the funding arrangements urgently to avoid pushing us back into dispute.

Until we receive this official confirmation on funding we are encouraging all members to ensure we have the correct contact details – address, email, and telephone number – in case we need to contact you at short notice.

Do not delay, update your details today.

There are easy ways to update your UNISON details. You can do this online at My UNISON


Get help from UNISON Direct by calling 0800 0 857 857 or online at

UNISONdirect – the UNISON helpline

Or contact your local branch. If you are not sure about your branch visit the UNISON branch finder here

Branch Finder

Our collective voice is strong. Working together we make a difference.


Newly Qualified Paramedics – Joint Statement

Following the publication of the new band 6 paramedic profile, and as part of a wider package of initiatives to improve the retention of paramedics, a 2-day national event was held last week to discuss the development of a Newly Qualified Paramedic (NQP) programme. The objective of the two-day event was to design and agree a programme to better support newly registered paramedics during the first 2 years of practice, before they move as planned into an Agenda for Change Band 6 paramedic role.  Representatives from the English NHS Ambulance services, NHS Employers, Ambulance Trade Unions, the College of Paramedics and NHS England discussed what a 2-year period of consolidation of learning for NQPs would look like and how it would work in practice. Everyone recognises the pressure on paramedics and the NQP programme is part of a package to improve retention and is designed to consolidate the skills, responsibilities and experience gained during the first few years as a paramedic while recognising that they are already HCPC registered.  The NQP role is about developing paramedics into the practitioners they want to be, and patients need them to be. Over the 2 days the group discussed issues such as; preceptorship, supervision and mentorship and the levels of support needed to progress and develop NQPs from theoretical knowledge to confident autonomous practice. While the NQP programme is ordinarily over a maximum period of 24 months, NQPs may complete the programme in a shorter timescale, for example if they already have previous relevant experience.  All NQPs will need to demonstrate that they meet the standards required by the consolidation of learning period. In order to be clear and consistent about the role, and scope of practice of the NQP, the group looked at the development of a template national job description for introduction locally which will sit alongside a set of national principles to support the roll out of the programme.  Following this 2-day event, the NQP programme will be written and communicated to staff, including those who have qualified as paramedics since 1 September 2016 and are therefore within the scope. Employers will need to engage with staff, and their representatives, to decide what they need to put into place to support the NQP programme and make it a success locally.

Paramedic Band 6 Profile Released

We are pleased to announce that the new Band 6 Paramedic Profile has been finally released. Here is the message from Alan Lofthouse, National Officer for UNISON:

I wanted to share the good news with you that UNISON, working with other unions, has successfully secured agreement for a Band 6 paramedic profile that has been published today.

It’s taken two years of negotiations and this profile will be available for all UK countries to use. In England, the band 6 paramedic profile is part of a package, paid for centrally, including the development of a Newly Qualified Paramedic role and scoping how the paramedic role will evolve to deliver NHS England’s Urgent and Emergency Care Review. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland there will be separate discussions about how this will be implemented.

New profiles: NHS employers site

This is an important first step towards recognition of the changes to the role of the paramedic over the last 10 years and will reflect the increases in skills and responsibilities of the job you do today.

The next steps include sign up to the final agreement by all parties and local job matching exercises between trust and unions to evaluate their paramedic roles. Although we cannot guarantee that every paramedic will be a band 6 (job evaluation is a local process) we have agreed that the effective date of band 6 for pay purposes will be 31 December 2016.
In addition to our work on band 6 and pay, UNISON, along with other unions, will play a full role in developing the Newly Qualified Paramedic role. Our aim is to ensure that we improve the retention rates of new paramedics entering the service to reduce the pressures on existing staff.

There is a set of frequently asked questions on the NHS Employers’ website which gives more detail on the Newly Qualified Paramedic role, including how this applies to any paramedics that have qualified since 1 September 2016.

We will also be working with employers and NHS leaders to develop and deliver a two year plan to ensure that your health, safety and well being is a priority in these challenging times for the service.

UNISON is proud to represent paramedics across the UK and knows how much harder your job is getting as the pressures on you increase. That’s why we believe the measures outlined above are a good start towards ensuring that you are properly rewarded for the job you do, that we make the profession attractive for future paramedics and take steps to ensure that issues around retention are resolved.

We will keep you updated as negotiations progress.

To find out more, go to: NHS employers site

Visit UNISON ambulance

Paramedic Band 6 Profile FAQ

1. I am a paramedic – will I automatically be put into band 6?
No, not automatically. A partnership panel of trained job matchers will compare your job against the new paramedic profile in a process called job matching. Find out more about job matching on the NHS Employers website.
2. Will this apply to all paramedics?
If you were qualified and employed as a paramedic before 1 September 2016 in pay band 5, your post will be matched to the new band 6 profile. If your post matches to the new profile you will assimilate to pay band 6 in line with the nationally agreed assimilation rules – see answer 9 below. Paramedics who qualify and are recruited after this date will be included in the newly qualified paramedic (NQP) programme.
3. When will Job Matching take place in my trust?
Each ambulance trust will schedule matching panels and they will notify you through their internal communications.
4. What information will the panel look at to make their decision?
Typically this will be job descriptions, person specs and organisational charts. It is likely that the paramedic job description will cover a large number of individuals. Employers and trade unions have been asked to ensure these are up to date in advance of a matching panel. Panels can ask to see a representative of the staff group and a manager if this information is unclear or insufficient.
5. What happens if I am already in a post which is at pay band 6?
You will not be affected by these changes which affect paramedics in pay band 5 only.
6. How will I know the outcome of the panel’s decision?
Your HR department will write to you to confirm the outcome of the matching panel.
7. What if I disagree with the outcome of the matching process?
In the event that groups of staff or an individual is dissatisfied with the result of matching, they may request a rematch by a panel with the majority of its members different from the previous panel. Such a request must be made within three months of notification of the original panel’s decision. In order to trigger a review, the jobholder(s) must provide details in writing of where they disagree with the match and evidence to support their case using the matching review form.
In the event that the jobholder can demonstrate that the process was misapplied they may pursue a local grievance about the process, but not against the matching or pay banding decision. Where a grievance is upheld, a potential remedy may be a reference to a new matching panel.
8. If I am matched to the band 6 profile, when will I move into band 6?
If as a result of this process you are matched against the new band 6 paramedic profile, you will move into band 6 effective from 31 December 2016, in line with the nationally agreed rules for assimilation – see answer 9 below.
9. When will I be paid on band 6 rate?
The effective date of pay changes resulting from matching a band 5 paramedic job to the new band 6 profile will be 31 Dec 2016. If a decision on a job match is made after this date the change in pay will be effective from 31 December 2016 and arrears of pay will be payable from 31 December 2016.
10. How will the move to band 6 work?
This is re-banding: the Agenda for Change rules on pay on promotion do not apply.
 Paramedics on pay spine points in pay band 5 that overlap with corresponding pay spine points in band 6 will, on assimilation, move across to the same pay spine point in band 6. Thereafter they will progress up the incremental points in band 6 in line with their personal incremental date.
 Paramedics in pay band 5 on pay points below the first overlapping pay spine point will move to the lowest pay point in pay band 6 and their incremental date will be the date of assimilation.
11. How will HART, SORT, HEMS/aircraft paramedics be affected?
All current band 5 paramedic roles will be included in this process.
12. I receive a separate payment for some of my duties (e.g. mentorship or other band 6 duties) but I am still in band 5. How will this affect those payments?
Leads and allowances and other payments, which have been agreed in local collective agreements, and that relate to job weight as valued in the job evaluation scheme, will end on 1 April 2017 (the effective date of assimilation) for paramedics in pay band 5 whose job is matched to the new band 6 profile.
Leads, allowances and other payments agreed by local agreement e.g. relating to meal breaks, which are not provided for in the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook and which do not relate to job weight, will not be affected by this agreement.
There will be transitional arrangements which will ensure that existing staff do not have a reduction in earnings.
Existing local collective agreements for use of band 6 (linked bandings, run throughs) will end on 1 April 2017.
13. Who is considered to be a newly qualified paramedic?
A consolidation of learning period (preceptorship) will apply to all newly qualified paramedics who were recruited into one of the ten ambulance trusts in England on or after 1 September 2016. These staff will be expected to remain in pay band 5 in their consolidation role for a maximum period of two years.
14. What will the newly qualified paramedic (NQP) programme look like?
Employers and trades unions will work in partnership on the development of training programmes for new entrants to the profession.
This work will include:
o scope of practice
o scope of deployment
o job description(s)
o person specification(s)
o arrangements for clinical supervision.
15. How long will the NQP programme be?
These preceptorship/new entrant programmes will ordinarily be for a maximum period of 24 months. Completion of the programme will be conditional upon individuals demonstrating they have the requisite knowledge, skills/competencies for their role and that they have demonstrated the required level of performance and delivery during the programme period, as determined locally.
16. How will this affect my student loan repayments?
Your repayment amount might go up in the event of an increase to your salary. You should check with your student loan provider to find out how this affects you.
17. I work in a devolved nation. How does this affect me?
The Band 6 paramedic profile is available for all UK countries to use. Discussions about the matching and assimilation process included in these FAQs are specific to England. The NQP package is an England-specific initiative.