Shout Loud.

At the risk of repeating myself (but I will nonetheless!) it is untenable that our paramedics within the London Ambulance Service are paid less than other paramedics in neighbouring Services.

The definition of untenable is: Incapable of being defended or justified.

If it can be defended or justified can someone from senior management come and talk to the union and make that argument. Urgently! Silence can be interpreted as indifference.

We will soon be at the point of no return with this issue and a dispute looms within the Service. A dispute that I know will be fully supported by UNISON paramedics and colleagues. A dispute that doesn’t need to happen.

So this is a call to our paramedics. Make your voice heard and make it heard now!

In the first instance tell our Chief Executive that the capital city’s paramedics deserve better.

Tell the Executive Management Team (EMT) that all the talk of staff welfare, staff recruitment and retention, VIP employee of the year etc, mean absolutely nothing if they are happy to bury their heads in the sand over this.

Shout about this because it is worth shouting about.

Support your union. Support the London Package.


London Ambulance UNISON Branch Committee today (15/09/15) unanimously voted to nominate Dave Prentis for UNISON General Secretary in the forthcoming election.

We believe that Dave is head and shoulders above the other four candidates (Heather Wakefield, Roger Bannister, John Burgess and Hayley Garner).

Head and shoulders above, not only in experience, commitment and ability, but head and shoulders above them for support of ordinary members wherever they work and whatever job they do.

He understands health and supports ambulance workers. Our Branch respects him.

Dave Prentis has stood with our members on picket lines, demonstrations and campaigns.

All the candidates in the election offer different ideas of course, but, in our opinion, only Dave Prentis offers the confidence to lead our union through the difficult times ahead.

The nomination period ends on the 9th October 2015. The ballot starts on the 9th November 2015 and ends on the 4th December 2015.

More information will be sent out before the ballot opens.


Throughout the 1989/1990 National Ambulance Dispute I met Jeremy Corbyn and others nearly every other week in an upstairs room of a pub in Kings Cross. The pub and room will remain a secret to prevent a rush of #JezWeCan souvenir seekers!

Don’t ask me who else was there because I don’t remember.  We didn’t keep lists. Don’t even ask me what Jeremy said because, again, I couldn’t tell you. We didn’t take minutes.

The meetings were arranged as a ad-hoc planning, tactical, information exchanges type thing with me giving reports on the day to day running of the dispute in the context of NUPE London North West Ambulance Branch and Jeremy informing us of how the Parliamentary Labour Party (in opposition) was supporting us within the House of Commons.

I’ve met up with him a few times since then, mainly at Cuba Support events. The last time being when I represented and spoke on behalf of UNISON London Region (outside the American Embassy) in support of freeing the remaining ‘Cuban 5’, supported, as always, by LAS UNISON Branch Chair Eddie Brand (top bloke!).

Time will tell if things are to be better or worse for working people (and trade unions) in the aftermath of the election of the new Labour Party leader.

The fact is that to have any hope of changing things for the betterment of workers and society within our system of Parliamentary Democracy, you have to win political power. Political power is won at elections.

Without that (or a revolution (now there’s a thing..)) the political landscape will be littered with good ideas, good intentions and huge wedges of rhetoric.

I wish I’d said to him back then: “Jeremy, you have more chance of becoming the leader of the Labour Party than I have of becoming President of our union!”

I don’t know which one of us is more surprised!


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