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Thursday 22nd
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

STUDENT paramedics demanded action by bosses at a beleaguered ambulance trust yesterday to resolve a dispute over pay and delays to training.

The East of England Ambulance service was revealed in June as the worst performing trust in the country, with overworked crews struggling to reach critical patients within the eight-minute target time.

Earlier this year, Unison threatened strike action over changes to working hours.

The latest row was triggered when Anglia Ruskin University and University of East Anglia failed to secure accreditation for a paramedic training course, leading to its postponement and financial losses for the students.

A staffing crisis, with the trust short of no fewer than 700 paramedics, led to the introduction of the fast-track training scheme to plug the gaps in 2014.

Some students will qualify a year later than expected due to the delays and will miss out on extra pay.

The East of England Ambulance Service Trust claims that it resolved the issues through partnership arrangements with Unison and considers that all elements of the dispute have been resolved.

But the union demanded a meeting with bosses and denied that a resolution had been reached.Unison branch secretary Fraer Stevenson said: “Student paramedics are still facing pay inequality and a significant detriment because of the delays to their training.

“The trust may feel that all elements of the students’ grievance has been resolved. Unison and the students do not agree.

“The right thing to do is to provide the students with a hearing date and to treat them in a fair and equitable manner.”