Ambulance workers strike: How much do paramedics earn?

Unions have said paramedics will respond to life-threatening incidents during the strike (Liam McBurney/PA Wire)
Unions have said paramedics will respond to life-threatening incidents during the strike (Liam McBurney/PA Wire)

Thousands of ambulance and NHS workers in England and Wales in the Unite and GMB unions are striking on Monday, February 20.

The number of health workers taking industrial action continues to grow, with junior doctors set to go on strike next month.

The strikes affect calls that are not life-threatening only and people are still advised to call 999 in an emergency.

Junior doctors in the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) have also said they will strike in England on March 15.

Some 97.48 per cent of members voted in favour of what will be the first strike in the union’s history.

Ambulances will still be sent to the most life-threatening calls — known as Category 1 —which includes cardiac arrests.

Patients that need time-critical treatment, such as kidney or cancer care, will also be transported.

Those protesting for better pay include paramedics. Here’s all you need to know about what they earn and why they are striking.

How much do paramedics earn?

Paramedics’ pay varies and is based on their level of experience. What they earn is laid out by the NHS Agenda for Change pay scales.

Starting at Band 5 of the scale, they could earn between £27,055 and £32,934. But after two years, they progress to Band 6 as they qualify. With that comes an increase in pay, which then ranges from £35,572 to £40,588.

Those trained in critical care and trauma are expected to earn up to £47,672 at Bands 6 and 7. GP or primary care paramedics usually fall into the higher of the two bands a year later.

The final stage is of a consultant paramedic. Reaching this level, Band 8c, which means a leadership role, takes three to four years. The salary is between £67,064 and £77,274.

Why are paramedics striking?

Rachel Harrison, GMB national secretary, said: “Ambulance workers across England and Wales will strike today entirely because this Government is tin-eared. It’s been over a month since the Government engaged in any meaningful dialogue. They are missing in action and refuse to talk pay.

“There’s a recruitment crisis in the NHS. Solving the issue of pay is vital if we’re going to stem the tide of dedicated healthcare workers leaving the profession. The public back ambulance workers. The Government must listen to them and talk pay now.”

NHS leaders said they were “deeply worried” by the ongoing industrial action, with no sign that the Government was prepared to reopen talks on this year’s pay deal.

Following the ambulance strikes in December last year, unions and Health Secretary Steve Barclay met on January 9 and a pay rise of 4.75 per cent was offered. Striking workers voted with more than a 99 per cent majority that this was not enough.

Progress has come to a halt since then, leading to further strike action.