Paramedics Protest at Failing Service
September 30, 2008
MEDIA RELEASE FROM THE NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION UNION
Wairarapa paramedics will be protesting against the local DHB outside the Masterton ambulance station on Wednesday, October 1.
Craig Page, Ambulance Sector Coordinator for the National Distribution Union says Wairarapa ambulance services are chronically short staffed, under resourced and at risk of failing.
“This is partly because they pay their paramedics $10,000 a year less than their St John counterparts.
“We are trying to negotiate a multi employer collective agreement to bring all the paramedics in the district on to the same conditions but the DHB refuses to come to the table.
“An improved agreement would provide a platform for ensuring paramedics could be retained and recruited and be the first step towards establishing a safe and sustainable service for the area.”
Mr Page says the base ambulance coverage during normal working hours is two ambulances for a population of nearly 40,000.
“This is critically low and because of the isolation of the area there is a real risk that if the workload were above normal, or there was a serious event, the service would not cope.”