Retirement Age for Healthcare workers

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2015 Health Care Service Group Conference
5 December 2014
Carried as Amended

Health Conference is well aware and very concerned that thanks to the Tory led government the retirement age for all NHS workers will be increased to 67 years old. The detrimental impact on the health of all members forced to work until their last day at work will be significant, but in particularly there will be an even more negative effect on operational front line Ambulance members.

The public need to have confidence that a paramedic, ambulance staff or other health care worker is able physically and mentally to deal with major trauma, incidents; alcohol related incidents, lifting patients, carrying patients up and down stairs, driving at critically high speeds and the whole range of situations that are faced by front line UNISON ambulance members on a daily basis. In addition to this our ambulance members are exposed to a high degree of physical and psychological stress on a regular basis – it is part of the job. Conference should also be aware that our ambulance members are more often than not at the forefront of violence towards NHS staff.

Despite numerous protests to the Tory-led government, changes in to the NHS pension retirement age means that UNISON health professional members will be expected to deal with all of the issues previously mentioned until they reach the age of 67 years old.

Conference calls on the Health Service Group Executive:

1) to build a campaign to raise awareness to the government with the public about the negative impact that the current NHS retirement age will have on the public, members and workers;

2) to lobby the government to lower the current retirement age for operational ambulance staff in line with the current fire service retirement age of 55 years old.