GMB has always been opposed to the implementation of Section 2 Agenda for Change Unsocial Hours Enhancements for ambulance service staff since it was introduced in 2018. We raised concerns at the time that this would be damaging for the morale of the workforce by creating a two-tier workforce and would also have a significant detrimental impact on career progression. GMB stands by that position still and we believe there is increasing evidence of those points being accurate.
GMBs position on this is clear. We never agreed to Section 2 for ambulance service workers and believe that all our concerns raised at the time have proven to be correct. We believe it to be a deterrent to career progression, detrimental to health and well-being as it encourages presenteeism, divides the workforce, discriminatory in its application to pregnant workers and NQPs.
GMB believes that Section 2 should be an option for workers as we appreciate some staff may want to be on those terms. However, GMB is calling for anyone that has been forced on to Section 2 since 2018 to be given the opportunity to transfer to Annex 5; and we want a commitment that no more forced transfers will take place. Once those issues are resolved, we can start to try to address once again the inconsistent and unfair application of the section across the trusts.