North West Ambulance Service paramedics strike in pay dispute

North West Ambulance Service

Paramedics at North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) who are members of the GMB trade union undertook a six-hour strike on Friday 29 June 2018 as part of a long-running pay dispute.

Approximately 50 GMB members based across Lancashire, Cumbria, Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester participated in the industrial action, which saw paramedics stage a walk out at the beginning of each day shift on Friday.

Around 84% of members voted in favour of strike action, which also included a two-hour walk out on 18 June 2018.

The dispute, according to GMB, regards an NHS pay banding exercise that took place in 2005, where paramedics were not banded correctly in terms of pay or placed into a review body. As a result of this, the trade union has asked for paramedics’ job role to be re-evaluated so that affected staff can be confident they are being paid correctly.

GMB has further asked for an independent review body to investigate the situation.

Paramedics’ job role was re-evaluated in 2016 for other ambulance services, with their pay allocated into pay band six. At North West Ambulance Service, paramedics’ pay currently sits in either pay band five or pay band six, GMB stated.

Paul Turner, organiser at GMB, said: “GMB’s hard-working North West paramedics have simply had enough. Our members now have no confidence in the [job evaluation guidelines] to enable a fair and transparent evaluation.

“GMB is asking for an independent investigation to be undertaken into what has gone on during the past 13 years and the reason we are in this situation. Our members have been astoundingly patient in waiting for their job to be re-evaluated for the years between 2005 to 2016.

“We are not taking this action lightly and would have expected the employer to take it more seriously. After almost 13 years, our members are now saying enough is enough.”

North West Ambulance Service was unavailable for comment at time of publication.