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Talks To Avert Ambulance Dispute

Thursday, September 12, 2013

GMB To Attend Talks With Ambulance Employers Tomorrow Friday 13th To Avert Dispute Over Imposition Of 25% Cut In Sick Pay For 35,000 Ambulance Staff

Employers should stop their imposition and retain the status quo until an amicable way is worked out otherwise we will have no alternative but to continue with arrangements to ballot members says GMB.

GMB will be attending talks tomorrow on Friday 13th September with NHS employers who have imposed cuts to sick pay by up to 25% for 35,000 ambulance workers in England from 1st September. This is to avert possible official strike ballots in this dispute. There may be further talks on Tuesday 17th September.

GMB Ambulance Committee welcomed the support by TUC Congress which backed a GMB emergency motion which set out how NHS employers had imposed cuts to ambulance workers pay by up to 25%. See notes to editors for text on motion carried at TUC Congress.

Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer for the NHS, said “NHS employers have claimed that it is only fair to have the same approach to sick pay as all workers covered under a national agreement. Yet NHS Employers fail to accept that ambulance workers have for some years worked under different arrangements as a result of previous reforms carried out by NHS Employers to the national agreement. 

So GMB awaits the opportunity at last to get round the table with NHS Employers and will be having two discussions one on Friday 13th and anticipate a further dialogue on Tuesday 17th September with ambulance employers.

NHS Employers have made a big claim about working in partnership yet they have taken nearly two weeks to get round the table to discuss what is now becoming a very serious matter. This is not the way to work in partnership particularly as there has been a number of attempts to engage with the employers over the last two weeks including the suggestion that a third party such as ACAS could be called upon to help resolve the matter amicably.

GMB awaits the Friday 13th talks and ask the employers to stop their imposition and retain the status quo until an amicable way is worked out. If NHS employers don't do this they will continue to back us into a corner and we will have no alternative but to continue with arrangements to ballot members".


Contact: Rehana Azam 07841 181 656 or Brian Strutton 07860 606 137 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251823

Notes to editors

Text of emergency motion

Emergency Motion for TUC Congress 2013

Ambulance Service - NHS Employer Imposed Cuts to Sick Pay

The Ambulance Service unions call on the TUC to give its full backing to ambulance workers in England who are facing imposed cuts of up to 25% to their sick pay without agreement, and who are prepared to take strike action to defend their terms and conditions.

The GMB, alongside Unite and Unison, balloted their members on a proposal put forward by NHS employers to cut ambulance workers Unsocial Hours Allowance Sickness Entitlement. In the GMB consultation over 90% of ambulance workers rejected cuts to their sick pay with similar results in Unison and Unite.

Despite this NHS Employers told unions on 29 August they were proceeding and have imposed changes without notice and without agreement with effect from 1/9/2013. As a result of this imposition local and national disputes have been lodged with the ambulance service.

999 Ambulance workers are doing an incredible job looking after the public whilst government policy is crippling the NHS, and driving ambulance services to crisis point. GMB ambulance members have spoken loud and clear in this ballot; Ambulance workers refuse to see their colleagues, and ultimately the public, put at risk and we ask for TUC support in calling on NHS employers to withdraw their imposition and get back round the negotiating table. The prospect of industrial action is an inevitable reality should employers not withdraw their imposition.





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