§ Q83. Mr. Tim Smith
To ask the Prime Minister if she will make a further statement on the ambulance staff dispute.
§ The Prime Minister
NHS management has made a final offer to the ambulance unions. Nobody will receive a basic pay increase of less than 9 per cent., and some will get over 16 per cent. As a result qualified ambulance men and women are already eligible for back pay ranging from over £600 to £850. Leading ambulance men and women in London trained in paramedical skills are eligible for back pay of up to £1,290. For the first time, staff with extended training and using paramedical skills will receive extra pay of £500 a year. There will also be a review of the 1986 salaries structure which could mean additional payments.
The demands of the trade union side of the Ambulance Council are unreasonable and I am very disappointed that 122W it continues to take action against patients and has rejected the NHS chief executive's very reasonable suggestion of a truce over Christmas and the new year. Over 96 per cent. of NHS staff have settled their pay without recourse to industrial action. The unions should accept the very fair offer on pay and resume normal working.