Unions reject sick pay agreement for ambulance service


28 / 8 / 2013 4.31pm

In February 2013 the NHS Staff Council agreed that pay during sickness absence will be paid at basic pay (plus high cost area allowance). No other allowances, such as those relating to shift patterns, for example, unsocial hours payments would be included.  These new rules were intended to apply to all Agenda for Change (AfC) staff.  The agreed exceptions were those injured at work and those on pay spine points 1 to 8.

Following a consultative ballot, the trade unions have rejected the employer proposals for how to implement these changes in the ambulance service. Employer representatives (including ambulance employers) believe that, in the interests of equity, these new arrangements do apply in the ambulance service. It is important that, in line with the new rules in Section 14(a) (England) in the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook, pay can be worked out fairly and consistently for all AfC staff. 

Most staff covered by the national agreement have retrospective unsocial hours payments (as in Section 2(a) (England) in the NHS terms of conditions of service handbook). If they work unsocial shifts they receive an unsocial hours payment the following month - based on the number of unsocial hours worked in the previous month.  Ambulance staff (and some others) have a different system.  Under their "prospective" system they receive an addition to their pay which reflects their working pattern (set out in Annex E of the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook).

Ambulance employers have been making operational plans on the basis of the national agreement. We believe a reasonable proposal has been put forward on how it should be calculated and in the spirit of partnership working employers have delayed implementation for an additional six month period to allow discussions with trade unions to continue. Following the trade union rejection of the proposal, we anticipate ambulance employers will now proceed to implement the agreement with effect 1 September.

 Read the full press release in our media centre

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