YORKSHIRE ambulance paramedics claimed victory yesterday in an industrial dispute spanning 12 years, unions revealed yesterday.
The dispute over pay grades ended with a settlement that includes pay increases of 2.5 to 12.6 per cent with salaries soaring from £544 to £2,909.
Degree-level paramedics make up 850 of the 2,000 ambulance staff employed by Yorkshire Ambulance NHS Trust (YAS).
Public service union Unison counts 660 of them as members, while most of the rest belong to Unite and others to GMB.
As the settlement was reached, both unions were balloting their members on industrial action that has now been withdrawn.
“This is a success for both the Unison negotiation team and the Yorkshire Ambulance Trust, who haver been working flat out to find a solution to this long-standing problem,” said Unison regional officer 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.
“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.”
Unite regional organiser Terry Cunliffe hailed it as a “joint union effort.”
GMB’s Stacey Booth added: “Further work will be undertaken by GMB, fellow unions and YAS management in the coming months to finalise areas of career progression for paramedics and front-line ambulance staff.”
The deal gives Yorkshire ambulance paramedics a starting salary of £22,236, potentially rising to £31,072.