Nationally a new band 6 Paramedic profile has recently been released and alongside this there is a national profile planned for a band 5 ‘newly qualified Paramedic’ (NQP) role. The guidance put out by NHS employers over the NQP role states there will be a development period for newly qualified Paramedics to be in band 5, prior to going into band 6:
“these new entrant programmes will ordinarily be for a period of 24 months and conditional upon individuals demonstrating they have the requisite knowledge, skills/competencies for their role and that they have demonstrated the required level of performance and delivery during the programme period, as determined locally.”
The agreement released by NHS employers today outlines that Paramedics going into band 6 will not move across and up an increment. The national agreement states for Paramedics on the top of band 5, they will move to the same spine point in band 6 and only progress on their annual incremental date.
UNISON and EEAST brought in a ‘Senior’ agreement 2 years ago, which has allowed over 95% of our Paramedics to move into band 6, and EMTs to move into band 5. The incremental progression in our agreement is across and up a spine point. This is an open agreement which allows all future EMTs and Paramedics with 12 months post reg/post qualification to progress. The agreement is very supportive and does not allow the Trust to link progression to changing resources, stations or forcing staff to lone respond:
Following a number of queries from members about the above – Our view is our local agreement has formed a contractual change to hundreds of our staff and we expect it to remain in place. Local agreements exist across Ambulance sector and seek to improve on national terms and conditions. We will only consider changes to the our local agreement if they are beneficial to staff. Any increase in timeline to achieve band 6, or any other changes, such as insisting on lone working or changing the way incremental progression occurs will not be agreed.
Yesterday we were made aware of some EMTs who have been refused the band 5 Senior EMT uplift, after being informed this is ‘being reviewed by the Board.’ There have not been any conversations with UNISON about this and our local agreement remains in place. We will update you as soon as we can.
UNISON Branch Secretary
East of England Ambulance Branch