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Alan Lofthouse
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Technician reBanding FAQs

02 November 2018

First of all - thanks to our UNISON Branch members for your Tweets, Facebook postings, email and other messages of appreciation, questions and suggestions.

It's good to know our work in the Branch is appreciated, but we all know Band 5 for Technicians is long overdue!

1. Pre Agenda For Change Technicians were all put on an October increment date which would mean a delay between the 30 March 2018 reBanding date and the increment date for all those most experienced Technicians. This would mean less experienced Technicians (whether Advanced or 'standard') getting part of the wage increase earlier as they may have an increment date between April and September. Last year in SECAmb, the precedent was set when paramedics were reBanded on 1 Jan and pre A4C paramedics has their increment date moved to January to give them an immediate wage rise. We anticipate this precedent to be followed this year for Technicians which would mean pre A4C Technicians' increment date would move to April. The net affect for all pre A4C Technicians will be a bigger wage increase from the reBanding date. (30.03.18)

2. For NQPs who were previously 'standard' Technicians, we anticipate there to be no financial disadvantage from those 'standard' Technicians who did not become NQPs, and so those NQPs will find their wages boosted to paypoint 20 in Band 5 from 30.03.18 (rather than paypoint 18 or 19 as they're on now).

Sorry it's so complex but we've tried to cover all the possible situations.

Please also bear in mind that some of these additional payments may take a little longer to appear as back pay but we're keen to get everyone's pay correct asap.

Finally, it would be really helpful if you can share this information to anyone who might want to know as it's not always easy to get the relevant information quickly to all members who need it.

Nigel Sweet
Ambulance Technician in Sussex, UNISON Senior Steward & UNISON Branch Communications Coordinator
UNISON phone number - 07554437181
Follow my personal twitter @sweeterNigel

SECAmb Ambulance Technicians

01 November 2018

Dear Members,

At the SECAmb Board meeting on the 25th October, confirmed an historic agreement to lift all SECAmb Ambulance Technicians from Band 4 into Band 5. This is the culmination of many months of exacting work in co-operation across all our unions and our Trust management.

“The campaign to get pay fairness for SECAmb Technicians stems from when Agenda for Change was introduced way back in 2004,” said SECAmb UNISON Branch Secretary Pete Steventon.

“With the introduction of the new Ambulance Response Programme (ARP), the evolving need for Technicians' practical experience, the positive changes to SECAmb management, the NHS pay proposal and member mood meant the time had come, and we put our plans into action. All unions and SECAmb management worked co-operatively for this landmark result.”

All SECAmb ambulance Technicians will now get a pay increase to paypoint 20 in Band 5 backdated to 30 March 2018. This will unify both 'standard' Technicians and Advanced Technicians on the same pay for the same work with the same scope of practise.

All SECAmb Technicians will get a flat rate of pay of £25934/year from 01.04.18 (or £32,400/year with 25% unsocial hours payment) rising to £30,615/year by 01.04.20 (or £38,300/year with 25% USH payment) which is the top of Band 5.

Full details will be issued by SECAmb, UNISON, Unite and GMB joint communications in due course. Some additional details have yet to be finalised concerning Technicians who pre-date Agenda for Change introduction, current NQPs who were formerly SECAmb Technicians etc but the pay figures given above are the minimums for all groups.

“All SECAmb UNISON members should be in no doubt that this reBanding is part of ongoing work to ensure pay fairness across our Trust,” added Nigel Sweet, Senior UNISON Branch Steward.

“This Technician reBanding follows the national work to achieve Band 6 for Paramedics in 2017. Our Branch have been working with members for formal Job Evaluations for Critical Care Paramedics, and Paramedic Practitioners. All operational and support role members should expect their pay Banding to come under scrutiny to ensure proper recognition of the work done, and ensure fair pay for that work.”

“To secure a good result, this reBanding work must be done in a sequential and rigorous way and the success with paramedics last year and now Technicians this year shows the way to go,” added Nigel. “The fundamental positive shift in SECAmb leadership at Board level is making this work achievable where before it was not, and that should be recognised by all members.”

Please look out for joint union and SECAmb emails to confirm details of when back-payments will be made, but we would expect this to be before Christmas (yes, Christmas 2018!).

Usual UNISON Branch twitter feeds @SECAmbUnison and @sweeterNigel should give latest information as we have it.

Peter Steventon
Branch Secretary UNISON

Same difference …

19 October 2018

Heart pounding, having never met one before, I walked into the room and met my first ‘real’ gay person. I was attending my first LGB meeting. The ‘T’ had not yet been added to the acronym for lesbian, gay and bisexual, let alone the other string of letters added since to cover the whole gamut of gender and sexual diversities.

Before that first step in my ‘coming out’ journey and later involvement in gay rights activism, my first knowledge of the existence of non-heterosexuals had come from hysterical public information broadcasts featuring falling tombstones imploring me not to ‘die from ignorance’. In my youth, being gay was still classified by the world health organisation as a mental illness. The writing was on the wall: growing up fancying other boys meant I had a mental illness that would probably lead to a disease with a certain, early and horrific death. And I would have no-one other than myself to blame.

How things have changed! The battles seem all to have been won. After all, I am now married to a man I met more than half my lifetime ago, living in a country where discriminating against my protected characteristic is unlawful and am working for an employer that has won awards for its inclusivity. For me, it had all become something of a non-subject. This all changed when I attended the National Ambulance LGBT Network Conference in Manchester on 24th August this year …

For a start, I was unaware of the many health inequalities that exist, illustrated by some of the following statistics:

- Gay and bisexual men are 7 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population
- 67% of gay men have not disclosed their sexuality to their GP
- 49% lesbian and bisexual women drink more than 14 units of alcohol weekly (compared to 7% for all women)
- 80% of LGBT pupils at school have not been taught about safe sex in relationship to same-sex relationships
- 41% of LGBT people aged over 55 live alone compared to 28% of heterosexual people
- Less than a quarter of LGBT people aged over 55 see members of their biological family compared to more than half of their heterosexual counterparts

And yet I have rarely, if ever, given any thought to the impact that gender or sexual diversity might have on health and social care in general, let alone in my own practice. Whilst I, and most of those around me, might be comfortable with who and how I am, there are others who are travelling alone through an earlier part of their journey, and who might very well appreciate the listening ear of someone who has gone through similar struggles.

So, fired up by my renewed enthusiasm to once again become an activist for equality and diversity, I approached UNISON and met up with Stella Quentin-Steele, our Branch equality and diversity co-ordinator.

We talked (at length – no surprise to anyone who knows me!) of the shared goals of those with protected characteristics, namely to achieve equality and celebrate their diversity. We saw many connections between equality and diversity, culture change and mental health – all currently ‘hot topics’ both within the NHS and more generally. We began to realise the enormity of the task, which lead to a proposal for us to share this role, which has now been agreed by the Branch.

We noted many similarities in the ‘journeys’ that each of these groups and individuals might take, from invisibility and taboo, through recognition and acceptance, and onwards towards equality and celebration. We realised that a lot of the work ahead, having common goals and similar journeys, might be shared by the networks that we already have. Networking between networks seems to us a good way of not only sharing the workload, but putting into practice our appreciation of the diversity of diversities which exist!

We want to play our part in working within and between these groups, and to share what we learn with our members, to help support them in supporting each other. At the end of the day, each one of us is unique: we are all diverse. And when we equally value each other purely as individuals we will have eradicated discrimination. It is, as we used to say, all the ‘same difference’!

Don't miss out - have your say on the NHS Pay Proposal

03 May 2018

Have you voted on the NHS pay proposal yet?

SECAmb UNISON Branch are keen for all our members to be informed on the pros and cons of the pay proposal, and then use their vote to have their say.

1. Get informed on the latest pay proposal news by visiting the Frequently Asked Questions (with special ambulance staff questions) at

2. You will have received an email from "Sara at UNISON" titled "Have your say on NHS pay" - it contains your ballot link so that you can vote on the pay proposal. Please use it after you have ensured you know what you are voting on and how it affects you and your SECAmb colleagues. See

3. If you want more information before you vote, or you haven't received a vote email, please phone, tweet or email me (see below). If UNISON don't have an email address for you, you'll get your ballot paper by post. Voting ends 5 June.

4. If you know someone in SECAmb who is not a trade union member, please tell them they will not get a vote unless they join a union. Please point out to them that if they join UNISON before May pay day (24 May) they can get a vote. Join here -

NHS Pay Proposal March 2018 briefing from SECAmb UNISON Branch

28 March 2018

Short story

The Pay proposal ...

1) is not what any of the unions asked for, and it's very complicated

2) covers this year and the next 2 years and is a minimum of -

 - 3% from April 2018
 - 1.7% from April 2019 plus 1.1% lump sum
 - 1.7% from April 2020

3) has pay increases below inflation rate for some staff

4) has pay increases that are better for staff not at the top of their pay Band

5) includes big changes to how Unsocial Hours payments are made to ambulance staff, and big changes to sick pay which will could affect pension payments

6) includes big changes to pay increments up the Bands

7) if agreed by staff, starts from 1 April 2018 and would be backdated to that date if agreed by the all-member vote

8) does not mention the additional wage of Advanced Technicians over Band 4 in SECAmb as this is a local agreement – there is no expectation of any change to this additional amount

Expanded information on each numbered point -

1. Unions wanted a 1 year pay deal which was to be an increase equivalent to the Retail Price Index inflation rate (RPI) which was 3.6% in March 2018, plus £800.

2. All calculations shown in the pay calculator include increments which distort the apparent pay increases. The minimum wage increase is equivalent to 6.5% over 3 years plus a 1.1% lump sum paid next year.

3. The 2018 RPI inflation rate is 3.6% but the minimum wage increase proposed is 3.1% this year. At 9.6% the best forecasts for the next 3 years' RPI inflation are above the the minimum proposed wage. i.e. The proposals mean a net wage cut for some staff. This net wage cut is additional to the 14%+ net wage cut since 2010.

4. See 2. Above

5. Existing ambulance staff will have the individual option to move to a different way of being paid for unsocial hours worked. They can switch to being paid like nurses who are currently on Section 2 of Agenda for Change. Our present arrangement for Unsocial Hours gets a %age payment on the whole of our earned wages, with a maximum of 25%. Moving to Section 2 will mean monthly variations to wages, and up to 25% loss of sick pay compared with the present Annex 5 system. Staff changing role by promotion or otherwise would have to switch to Section 2 payment, as will all new staff recruits. Any reduction of sick pay could affect pension payments too.

6. See 2. above

Additionally, the time taken to reach the top of each Band will be reduced -
- Band 2 - 2 years
- Band 3 - 2 years
- Band 4 - 3 years
- Band 5 - 4 years
- Bands 6 and above - 5 years

Download/Print the PDF ⇒

SECAmb UNISON Branch Communication Officer – Nigel Sweet 28.03.18
Clive Goddard
Branch Chair /
Senior Rep - 111
07984 - 497869
Peter Steventon
Branch Secretary /
Senior Rep - West
07500 - 991967
Nigel Sweet
Senior Rep - West
07554 - 437181
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