Are paramedics paid more than rescue workers?

Health & Social

Ambulance service

Skilled workers shortage in the rescue service?

Our answer: reduce workloads, qualify employees, shorten working hours
Peter KruppAmbulance station

According to the federal government, the rescue service is a bottleneck occupation. That means: There is a shortage of skilled workers. But the problem is homemade. Employees working part-time or completely out of their jobs are driven by high levels of stress and unreasonable conditions. If enough skilled workers are to be recruited and retained in the future, working conditions must improve. This is what ver.di is fighting for.

The causes of the shortage of skilled workers are obvious:

  • The stakes increase. Physical and psychological stress increases accordingly. At the same time, the daily and weekly working hours have been extended - keyword: willingness to work. The result: Employees migrate to related areas such as emergency rooms in clinics, rescue control centers and fire brigades or completely reorient themselves professionally.
  • Save until 67? Can anyone imagine that? Many are already retiring early due to illness - often with drastic retirement losses.
  • The workload means that illness-related absences in the rescue service are significantly more frequent than in other professions.
  • Night shift, weekend and holiday work are difficult to reconcile with family and private life - especially not extended working hours due to willingness to work. Those who do not emigrate as a result often try to alleviate the problem by working part-time.
  • As is generally the case in health and social care professions, remuneration is significantly worse than, for example, in industry. Despite similar qualifications and although this is such a socially important job.
  • There are few opportunities for advancement. In the trade you can go from being a journeyman to being a master - there is no such thing in the rescue service.
  • Actually, it is clearly regulated: Training costs are part of the service of the rescue service, refinancing the further qualification should therefore not be a problem. Nevertheless, health insurances refuse this in part or cut it elsewhere in the budget.
  • The same applies to training to become an emergency paramedic. More young people are currently applying than there are training positions - but more training positions are not being refinanced. There are also bottlenecks in schools. There is only one rescue service school in the whole of Thuringia, the others have been closed.

All of this leads to a shortage of skilled workers and thus to an even greater burden on the existing employees through additional shifts. And at the same time, increasing numbers of deployments lead to an increase in the availability of life-saving appliances and thus to even more personnel requirements. A vicious circle.

Such conditions are dangerous for the population. More and more often, emergency services have to deregister from the emergency services. The result: Because rescuers have to be called from more distant locations, the ambulance arrives later - in some cases too late.

»Ver.di wants to change that. That's why I'm taking part «

Joel Klement (24) completed his training as an emergency paramedic at the DRK district association in Celle last year and was taken on. He was active in the youth and trainee representation (JAV) and is now a member of the works council.

PrivateJoel Clement

“The job of emergency paramedic has made training in the rescue service much more attractive. The internships in inpatient and outpatient care, in assistance for the disabled and in kindergarten give you an insight into many areas. That makes one more confident in dealing with the respective patient groups. In addition, you have more time during the training and are not used as a second person on the ambulance. So a lot has already happened - also because colleagues at ver.di have campaigned for it. But something has to change, especially when it comes to working hours. With 48 hours a week there is not much time for social contacts and relaxation. How are you supposed to hold out until you retire at 67? ver.di wants to change that, that's why I'm participating. Because the more we organize, the better conditions we can enforce. "

Good training - high quality

The work in the rescue service is demanding. It is important to make the right decisions in the shortest possible time. Human lives depend on it. There is only high quality with highly qualified employees. The positions of the ver.di Federal Rescue Service Commission are therefore:

  • It needs skilled workers: In accordance with the stipulations of the European and national qualifications framework as well as the resolutions of the DGB and ver.di on professional qualifications, the three-year training is our declared goal. Only emergency paramedics or paramedics should be used on all emergency rescue equipment. The use of less qualified staff does not make sense in view of the steadily increasing demands on preclinical medical care.
  • Longer training of paramedics: The plan of some federal states to extend paramedic training to one year is a step in the right direction. However, this must not lead to a deterioration in the qualification mix. The requirement profiles for drivers of emergency vehicles are currently very different: They range from having the necessary driver's license to 520-hour training in accordance with the recommendations of the Federal and State Rescue Service Committee. The result is that numerous employees with fewer qualifications than the three-year training are currently working full-time in the rescue service. We will not leave these colleagues out in the rain. You need grandfathering and must - if desired - receive employer-financed offers for further qualification.
  • Driving safety: In order to ensure the safe transport of the emergency teams and patients, the necessary driving license for the emergency vehicles as well as additional practical driving safety training must be prescribed and financed by the employer.

Works councils use co-determination rights

Good working conditions ensure satisfied employees. Works councils have a say in the duty roster, occupational safety and health protection issues. ver.di supports you with seminars on all important topics.

Works councils also help determine which employees go to company training measures, when and where. If, for example, the employer does not get going with further training to become an emergency paramedic, the works council can and must take care of it.

However, these rights cannot be exercised in facilities without a works council. The employees have no interest representation to protect them. Therefore: choose committed works councils where there are none!

ver.di has an influence

Andreas carrierAmbulance work

The three-year training to become an emergency paramedic is attractive. ver.di has campaigned for this training for many years. In this way, the union has secured, among other things, appropriate training remuneration and the right to practical guidance. Now it has to be a matter of making the job attractive too. Otherwise the well-educated young people will migrate again after the "practice shock".

Above all, this means reducing the weekly working hours - keyword: willingness to work. In the DRK reform collective agreement, ver.di managed to get started in 2016: Here, the employees in the rescue service will gradually move from the 48 to the 45 hour week by 2019. Now the other providers have to follow suit. And of course the working hours have to be reduced even further.

More and more employees leave the company before they reach the statutory age limit and their pensions are reduced. That is why the ver.di state commission for emergency services in Rhineland-Palatinate-Saarland has started the campaign "No more!" In doing so, she has sensitized the media, the politically responsible and the DRK regional association to the topic. ver.di has now asked the DRK regional association to negotiate an earlier career.

Collective agreements like those with the German Red Cross, campaigns like in Rhineland-Palatinate - nobody can achieve that on a representative basis. For this, the employees in the rescue service must act together. With ver.di - the union for the rescue service.

Make ambulance workers stronger. Make yourself stronger. Become a member of ver.di!