Union warns of pay cuts for ambulance staff

PARAMEDICS and other frontline staff at South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SECAMB) face pay cuts of up to £5,000, union officials have warned.

The GMB union has accused the Trust of planning to slash pay by up to 25 per cent for some workers ahead of a bid for foundation status.

But Trust officials say it must save £40 million over the next five years – part of the NHS’s commitment to make £20 billion savings.

The row has erupted over plans to reform the structure of unsociable hours payments for frontline, technical and support staff at the Trust.

GMB sees this as a direct pay cut for its members and plans to fight the planned changes.

Rob Macey, GMB regional organiser, said, “GMB will fight these proposals which will have a devastating affect on employees and their families.

“GMB members feel they are being treated appallingly by SECAMB, who appear hell-bent on making these cuts in order to achieve their Foundation Trust Status.

“GMB consider that paramedics, technicians and other ambulance workers provide a vitally important service to the public and they should be paid properly for doing so.

“Morale is now at an all- time low and it is a very real fear that patient safety could be put in jeopardy.”

A spokesman for SECAMB said, “The Trust - working with staff and staff-side representatives - has been looking at a number of areas to establish where savings can be made including the review of unsocial hours’ payments.”