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Cornish Ambulance Staff Face Pay Cut

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3:54pm 3rd November 2011
(Updated 3:54pm 3rd November 2011)

Cornish paramedics are being asked to take a pay cut.

South Western Ambulance says it needs to save four million pounds a year.

Holiday leave, overtime and sickness benefits could change too.

Paramedic Alan Lofthouse speaks for Unison.

He blames government cuts:

"It is incredibly demanding, both physically and mentally. But, ambulance staff do do it to the best of their abilities, saving lives, every day. The government needs to really consider how it's funding the NHS to make sure that there aren't these shortfalls which mean that employers have to come to staff and ask them to make up that shortfall in their pay"

"Coming to people who've had to put up with a two year pay freeze and are looking at a potential pension contribution increase coming up,  it's not really fair to come to them and ask them to pay more for what is essentially the bankers mistakes with government funding"

A consultation is underway. A Trust spokesperson said:

“Like all public sector organisations, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) service has savings to make. For the financial year 2011/12 efficiency saving are necessary to address amongst other things, inflationary pressures and escalating fuel costs.

“The service is not anticipating making any compulsory redundancies and therefore needs to identify alternative ways of achieving the required efficiency savings.

“In support of this the Trust recently issued each member of its workforce with a questionnaire and accompanying letter. The aim of this was to invite ideas on potential money saving proposals.

“As an organisation which values the opinion and insights of its workforce, it is vital not to make any decisions without engaging with staff. It is important to point out that no decisions have been made at this time and all actions have been carried out in conjunction with Unions.

“The Trust takes its responsibility as an emergency and urgent care provider very seriously and has a good track record of delivering high quality services within budget. We are confident that any changes made will not compromise the quality of care provided to patients.”

3:54pm 3rd November 2011

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