Ambulance workers announce new strikes as bitter pay dispute escalates

Ambulance workers announce new strikes as bitter pay dispute escalates

A series of new strikes by ambulance workers has been announced by Unite in an escalation of bitter disputes over pay and staffing.

The union said its members will stage 10 more strikes across England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the coming weeks and warned more dates could be announced soon.

Unite ambulance workers are set to go as soon as next Monday as the bitter dispute with the government remains deadlocked.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Rather than act to protect the NHS and negotiate an end to the dispute, the Government has shamefully chosen to demonize ambulance workers.

“Ministers are deliberately misleading the public about life and limb coverage and who is responsible for excess deaths.

“Our members provide reliable protection for life and limb on strike days, and it is not the unions that are not providing minimum services.

“It is this Government’s disastrous handling of the NHS that has brought it to breaking point and as crisis piles on crisis the Prime Minister appears to be washing his hands on the dispute. Such a shame. What a relinquishment of leadership.”

The newly announced strike action will involve Unite members in the North West, North East, East Midlands, West Midlands, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Unite said that as with previous strikes at the regional level, its representatives will work to agree waivers to ensure emergency life and limb insurance is in place during the action.

Other exemptions will ensure patients who need life-saving treatments such as kidney care and cancer treatment are transported to their appointments, the union said.

Unite official Onay Kasab said: “The resolution of this dispute is in the hands of the government.

“This dispute will only be settled when there are proper negotiations on the current collective bargaining dispute.

“The government’s constant attempts to kick the can on the street and their talk of one-time payments or slightly increased salary bonuses in the future just aren’t good enough to resolve this dispute.”

Unite gave details of when its members, who are employed by various ambulance trusts, will go on strike.

West Midlands: February 6th and 17th and March 6th and 20th. Northeast: February 6th and 20th and March 6th and 20th. East Midlands: 6th and 20th February and 6th and 20th March. Wales: 6th and 20th February and 6th and 20th March. Northwest: February 6th and 22nd and March 6th and March 20th. Northern Ireland: 26 January and 16, 17, 23 and 24 February.

Members of the Royal College of Nursing and ambulance workers in the GMB went on strike on February 6th, while the GMB also called strikes on February 20th and March 6th and 20th.

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