Ambulance Workers To Strike For Four More Days In February And March

They are just the latest tranche of public sector staff to take industrial action over pay.
The GMB said its members had “no choice" but to take industrial action.
The GMB said its members had “no choice" but to take industrial action.
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Ambulance workers will take four more days of strike action in February and March after talks between union bosses and the government broke down.

The GMB union said more than 10,000 ambulance workers across England and Wales will take industrial action on February 6, February 20, March 6 and March 20.

Rachel Harrison, the GMB’s national secretary, said: “GMB’s ambulance workers are angry. In their own words ‘they are done’.

“Our message to the government is clear — talk pay now.”

She accused the government of making the situation “worse” by “demonising the ambulance workers who provided life and limb cover on strike days playing political games with their scaremongering”.

She added: “The only way to solve this dispute is a proper pay offer.

“But it seems the cold, dead hands of the No.10 and 11 Downing Street are stopping this from happening.

“In the face of government inaction, we are left with no choice but industrial action.

“GMB ambulance workers are determined, they’re not going to back down.
“It’s up for this government to get serious on pay. We are waiting.”

In total eight NHS trusts will be affected by the strike action over the next two months.

They include:

  • South West Ambulance Service
  • South East Coast Ambulance Service
  • North West Ambulance Service
  • South Central Ambulance Service
  • North East Ambulance Service
  • East Midlands Ambulance Service
  • Welsh Ambulance Service
  • Yorkshire Ambulance Service

Officials from the Unite union will also meet later on Wednesday to decide whether to call fresh strikes among its ambulance members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Ambulance staff have already been on the picket line throughout December and January to protest against pay and working conditions.

They are due to strike next Monday, January 23, which will affect the West Midlands ambulance. GMB members at North West Ambulance Service will also strike on January 24.

Ambulance staff have been joined by nurses, who are on strike today and on Thursday.

On Monday the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) confirmed that its staff would also walk out on February 6 and 7 unless progress is made in the negotiations with the government.

It came on the same day that the National Education Union (NEU) announced that its teacher members would also take industrial action throughout February and March.

Responding to the GMB’s fresh strike dates, NHS Providers’ interim chief executive Saffron Cordery said: “Four more days of strikes by GMB ambulance staff will deal another blow to already overloaded health services. And now Unite is set to announce more ambulance strikes by its members.

“We understand the strength of feeling among NHS staff and nobody wants these strikes to happen.

“To stave off another wave of strikes and help the NHS the government must sit down with the unions urgently and address pay for the current financial year.

“Trusts plan and prepare for industrial action to support staff and do all they can to minimise the impact on patients and day-to-day business.

“But with incredibly high levels of A&E attendances and delays discharging patients from hospital beds, severely hampering overstretched ambulance services, things are likely only to get worse if these strikes go ahead.”


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