Hundreds of ambulance workers in Northern Ireland are to receive a pay rise amounting to several thousand pounds each, following an extensive period of campaigning and negotiation by UNISON.
Members of the union voted overwhelmingly to accept the pay offer from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service HSC Trust, which will be backdated to the beginning of 2017.
The change affects emergency medical technicians (EMT), paramedics and rapid response paramedics (RRP) who will see their pay bands upgraded within the Agenda for Change pay structure.
EMTs will move from band four to five, while paramedics and RRPs will move from band five to six.
The changes will benefit the affected ambulance staff to the tune of £7 million, which includes the backdated payments.
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This pay rise will make a real difference to ambulance workers, recognising their skills and experience.
“It’s the second big victory this year for UNISON in Northern Ireland after NHS workers were given pay parity with staff in other parts of the UK. Congratulations are due for securing this latest agreement.”
UNISON Northern Ireland’s head of bargaining Anne Speed said: “Ambulance staff are at the heart of delivering care to patients and their families.
“They fully deserve respect and recognition for all they do – every day of the week, 24 hours a day. Hundreds of our members have been waiting for quite some time for this pay banding improvement.”
Notes to editors:
– Almost nine out of ten (88%) affected UNISON workers voted, with 83% accepting the pay improvements.
– The band five pay scale ranges from £24,907 to £30,615, while band six is £31,365 to £37,890.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.