Ambulance workers in Britain’s biggest health union have threatened to withdraw from Agenda for Change, the national pay and conditions scheme for health workers.
The scheme was introduced last year amid promises that most health workers would see improved pay and conditions. Many believed they would be able to move beyond ceilings placed on their pay by their existing contracts.
But now ambulance workers in the Unison union have issued an ultimatum threatening to withdraw from the deal unless NHS managers publish their new job profiles by the end of this week.
Ray McDermott is Unison branch secretary for ambulance workers in the north east of England. He says, “If you take an advanced technician, their maximum pay on the old contracts was £18,500.
“They expected to move onto band six of the Agenda for Change pay scheme, allowing them to increase their pay up to £23,000.”
But union representatives have seen documents suggesting that ambulance workers will be placed on bands four and five, which will maintain the ceiling on pay.
Ray says, “Representatives from the ambulance sector met on Tuesday of last week to discuss our next moves. We want to see the new job profiles and check them.
“If they don’t publish these profiles, we will meet again on 25 April. There will be a motion at that meeting proposing withdrawal from Agenda for Change.
“The position we took was fully supported by the Unison health service group executive. So we have the weight of the union behind us.”