St John Ambulance and FIRST Union would like to advise the public that the industrial action by ambulance officers planned for tomorrow, Wednesday 25 and Saturday 28 November, has been withdrawn.

Full emergency ambulance services will be in operation and the public should continue to call 111 for an ambulance as usual.

FIRST Union and St John have reached an agreement subject to ratification by FIRST Union members.

The new agreement will see the full implementation of the independent pay review commissioned by St John while ensuring that no staff member will earn less than they would have from a previous agreement to implement 25% penal rates for nights and weekends for a transitional period.

The St John Board have approved their executive team’s request to increase the ambulance service operating deficit by a further $1 million to enable this settlement.

Concerns that were raised during bargaining about pay progression for existing call handlers and dispatchers have also been resolved as part of the offer.

FIRST Union’s Transport, Logistics and Manufacturing Secretary described the settlement as an excellent outcome for all staff. 

“This is a fair offer that will see a number of staff receive significant pay adjustments to reflect their skills while ensuring that everyone benefits.  The settlement is the first step in rebuilding the relationship between the parties and will allow staff to refocus on their key priority of providing a safe and effective ambulance service.”

St John says it is pleased to have been able to avoid strike action for the public while continuing constructive discussions with FIRST Union colleagues to reach an agreement that suits all parties.  “We are very pleased to reward our people with the full implementation of the independent pay review.  This is an historic and significant pay correction for our people.”