25 Nov 2016

Ambulance staff reach agreement over pay

12:12 pm on 25 November 2016

Four unions have reached an agreement with St John Ambulance after months of negotiations over pay and conditions.

The new collective employment agreement includes a pay increase staggered over three years, St John said, as well as new meal break provisions and fatigue management policy.

Close up of a St John ambulance on a residential street.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The agreement covered staff who belonged to the Amalgamated Workers Union, Central Amalgamated Workers Union, New Zealand Ambulance Association and the Ambulance Officers Workplace Union.

But an agreement was still to be reached with staff who belonged to First Union.

That union was beginning its second uniform strike today, which meant members would ignore the uniform policy and instead wear t-shirts that said "healthy ambos save lives".

In their first strike, First Union members originally threatened a ban on paperwork, but agreed to protest by working in their own clothes and wearing a union badge instead.

The ambulance workers were so exhausted it was dangerous, and this was a reaction to their employer trying to squeeze more out of them, First Union said.

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