May 2016 News Update

UNISON Announces Indicative Ballot of Ambulance Members

At the UNISON Healthcare Conference, General Secretary Dave Prentis announced that all ambulance members are to balloted due to the failure of the Government to keep to its promises that ended the strike action last year.

The ballot follows 12 months of talks with the employers over the offer that the Government made in in early 2015. The offer included looking at the recruitment and retention issues, looking at a 50:50 cost sharing provision which would allow ambulance staff to take their pension up to 3 years early and to explore the obvious challenges that have arisen from extending the retirement age.

There has been slight progress as employers have agreed to update the national ambulance Job Evaluation profiles, they have commissioned specialists to look at the Paramedic Role and have agreed to talks about Band 6 for Paramedics. However, this is conditional upon additional funding that the Government has said the employer has to find from existing budgets.

UNISON is disappointed with the lack of progress on the pension scheme offer as there is still nothing for ambulance staff and we are also frustrated with the progress of the talks and the fact that the Government has not committed to funding any of the offers made.