Australia: To me – To you!

There will be plenty of ‘Chuckle Brothers’ Australian recruitment jokes going round the Service at this time, regarding a Director who travels to Australia to recruit staff, only for him, in a bizarre twist, to be recruited by the South Australian Ambulance Service.

To be the Chief of all things!

To me – To you!

That must have been an awkward conversation:

“So, you are over here recruiting ambulance workers that we have trained?”


“And you are telling them that London is a great place to work?”


“You are also telling them that the LAS is the best ambulance service in the world?”


“Would you like to work for us?”


“Would you like to be our Chief Executive?”


All joking aside, I don’t blame him. I am going to nail my colours to the mast. I am sorry that the Director of Operations is leaving. I like him. He is one of a few people on the Executive Management Team that understands our Service. A lot goes on behind the scenes that staff don’t see and sometimes he is made a scapegoat, unfairly.

I know because he is a senior manager staff will have differing views about him and what he has done (or hasn’t done), and we are all entitled to our opinions.

The Management Restructure is not one of the better things he will be remembered for. UNISON has always been upfront with our view. It should not have gone ahead before a permanent London Ambulance Chief Executive had been appointed.

However, our position was rejected and it has gone ahead. Time will tell who was right and who was wrong.

Anyway, I wish him well. That’s the public farewell done and dusted.


I smell a rat though!

I have mentioned the ‘London Package’ in the last few blog postings. I will repeat it here because I never get tired of repeating it.

  • All Paramedics at Band 6.
  • A re-think of the Senior Paramedic role.
  • Technicians future to be secured.
  • Make it easier, and affordable, for our own staff to study to become Paramedics.
  • Make it financially attractive for all staff to stay with LAS.
  • Create a unique London Package for all our staff that recognises the stresses and strains of working in London.

What has happened to these (legitimate) demands I hear you say. The long and short of it is: Nothing!

If my last blog posting spoke of Tumbleweeds then this one is about the sound of gears being put into reverse, handbrake turns and a whole organisation taking a giant step backwards!

Apart from a corporate-speak acknowledgement from the previous Chief Executive, UNISON still has not had any formal response.

We have had nods of heads. We have had looks of understanding. We have had whispers of approval. We have had illusions of movement only to be replaced by the sound of ladders being pulled up!

These demands will not go away. Nor will our view that it is untenable that the capital city’s Ambulance Service pays a large percentage of its staff less than a neighbouring County Ambulance Service for doing the same job.

That County Ambulance Service and its Chief Executive took a brave step. They worked with UNISON, in partnership, and did the right thing.

This issue cannot be dodged. We are heading for a dispute over this.

Support the London Package – Support your Union.


Information on all issues can be found elsewhere on our website.


If you are reading this, work for the London Ambulance Service or are eligible to join, and are not yet a member of UNISON Join Today!

We are stronger together.

Eric Roberts

Branch Secretary.