The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 14th December 2018

Lower retirement age for ambulance staff!

by New Worker correspondent

HEALTH SERVICE union Unison has demanded that the government should lower the retirement age for ambulance staff to make it the same as for the other emergency services.

Paramedics have delivered a petition to the social care secretary Matt Hancock that has been signed by more than 250,000 people and is calling for their retirement age to be reduced from 67 to 60.

Although scraping people off the roads is not as physically demanding as climbing ladders like fireman Sam, the union points out that ambulance workers face extreme physical and mental pressures, including shifting from day to night rotas, lifting and carrying patients, and attending traumatic incidents. Police officers, for example, can retire at 60, as can firefighters.

The petition was started by paramedic Matt fisher after the loss of his colleague 63-year-old Ian Canning, who died just weeks into retirement. He was an incident response officer who spent nearly 40 years working for the London Ambulance Service (LAS), including dealing with incidents such as the Grenfell Tower fire and the 2005 tube bombings.

Unison’s head of health Sara Gorton said: “Ambulance staff do a physically and mentally demanding job. They often work outside in challenging circumstances and do shifts that can have an impact on their health. Lowering the retirement age in line with other emergency services is the right thing to do. We’re urging Matt Hancock to make this a reality..