Yorkshire ambulance paramedics win pay rise

Agreement reached on regrading to reflect paramedics’ skills as UNISON prepared for industrial action ballot

UNISON has won pay rises for paramedics in Yorkshire, worth from £544 a year up to a possible £2,909 – depending on their current grades.

This month’s agreement with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service to regrade paramedics from band 5 to band 6 of the NHS pay system followed moves by UNISON to ballot for industrial action in the long-running dispute.

The union represents 80% of the trust’s paramedics and has argued since 2004 that they should have been graded at band six.

The recent agreement saw the industrial action ballot withdrawn.

“This is a success for both the UNISON negotiation team and the Yorkshire Ambulance Trust, who have been working flat out to find a solution to this long-standing problem,” said union regional organiser Ray Gray.

“Paramedics were wrongly graded way back in 2004 and, while it’s sad that it has taken this long to put it right, we are pleased that the paramedics are now going to receive a pay rate that truly reflects the work they do and the skill base that they have.

“We also hope that this is the first step of change to both retaining existing paramedics and bringing new ones in to the service.

“For some time, paramedics nationally have been leaving the service in droves because of the pay grade, stress, and conditions that they work under.

“This is the first step towards changing that position.”