EMERGENCY Care Assistants (ECAs) working for South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust are taking their campaign for fair pay to Parliament today (Wednesday, April 17), says UNISON.

ECAs, who work with paramedics as part of emergency ambulance crews, should be recognised and properly rewarded for the work they do, the union says.

UNISON says the level of training required to be an ECA has risen considerably over the years and responsibilities are more consistent with a higher pay band.

The union is calling for staff to be moved from band three to band four on the Agenda for Change NHS pay scale in recognition of this.

Following a political campaign in which ECAs brought their claim to the attention of more than 50 MPs, a group of the workers will meet their MPs to discuss and highlight the campaign in Westminster.

UNISON South West Ambulance and Allied Health branch secretary Jo Fowles said: “It’s absolutely right that emergency care assistants are given the uplift they deserve.

“They are a fundamental part of the ambulance team and provide vital care for patients.”

UNISON South West regional secretary Kerry Baigent said: “The message is clear. Staff should be paid properly for the job they do and shouldn't be expected to carry out the duties of a higher-banded role without the pay the goes with it. It’s time these staff were recognised and rewarded.”

* UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.