UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis today (Tuesday) showed his support for London Ambulance Service (LAS) UNISON members as they face unprecedented pressures caused by cuts and performance targets.
Speaking on a visit to the LAS UNISON branch, Mr Prentis said he understood just how tough it was for them and highlighted the failure of the government to appreciate the crucial role members play in saving lives.
He said: “I know how tough it is for you with increased pressure caused by cuts and more targets, with many of your colleagues leaving and not being replaced. With the threat of privatisation hanging over you and the pay freeze meaning your pay packet no longer reflects yours skills, expertise and responsibilities.
“As your general secretary, I will continue to make the NHS my number one priority and work with you to defend your terms and conditions, your jobs and your service. We need a package that works for everyone from paramedics to administrators. Thank you for being a part of our union and for all you do for our ambulance service.”
London Ambulance is the largest- and busiest- ambulance service in the world yet staff are currently facing a pay freeze. This is despite the fact that the price of an average home in the capital has risen to £500,000 making it the country’s most expensive area to live in. In addition, a recruitment and retention crisis is impacting on staff, especially paramedics.
UNISON is currently in negotiation with ambulance employers to ensure that these issues are addressed and to secure a better deal for LAS staff.