Unhappy St John workers ditch their uniforms

A St John Ambulance.
Photo credit: Newshub.

St John ambulance officers will be ditching their uniforms as part of continued industrial action against their employer.

First Union announced paramedics would act in November, wanting extra pay for workers rostered on nights and weekends.

"The starting rate is below $20 an hour - if recognition payments for night and weekend work are factored into this, many ambulance professionals would have to be on below the minimum wage," First Union divisional secretary Jared Abbott told Newshub at the time.

"To claim that the current rates account for shift recognition is incorrect. New Zealand's ambulance professionals are amongst the lowest-paid in the developed world."

Now a month later, an anonymous paramedic has told Newshub the workforce isn't happy with the current pay offer.

"We could say we've been potentially offered 5 percent over two years, you know if the company had just come with a fair offer then I'm sure a lot of us would have been feeling different."

The anonymous worker said conditions aren't great - workers are forced to work 12-hour shifts and often will work six to eight hours before taking a break.

Their next move will involve around 1000 workers showing up to jobs in mufti, instead of their typical St John uniform.

On top of that they'll don hi-vis vests that say "shift our pay".

The anonymous ambulance worker hopes the new outfit will provoke conversations about working conditions.

"People are going to go, 'Oh, how come you're not in the full uniform?' and that may give us an avenue to explain."