Ambulance Dispute Over Sick Pay

15 Sep 2013

GMB and other ambulance service unions at last week’s TUC congress announced they are in dispute with the ambulance service in England and said their members were prepared to take industrial action. The dispute arises because NHS employers and all ambulance trusts in England have imposed cuts in sick pay of up to 25% without the agreement of unions or individual employees and without notice.

Rehana Azam , GMB National Officer, said “Despite months of negotiations the final proposals from the NHS Employers simply weren’t good enough and our members rejected them by over 90%. Ambulance workers have had to put up with pay restraint and increasing workload and feel they are the pinch point in the NHS squeeze. They won’t put up with a draconian cut to their sick pay which could see them being forced to work while ill to avoid losing money. Who wants an ambulance turning up at an emergency with the medics coughing and sneezing all over the place? It’s stupid.

Nearly all members also said they would be prepared to take industrial action to defend their sick pay and so we have registered formal industrial disputes with the NHS Employers and every ambulance trust. We will also be challenging the legality of this imposition which we believe is wrong. Our members are very angry and although none of them want to put the public at risk they have been forced into a corner and the threat of industrial action looks inevitable if the employers don’t back down.”