Ambulance workers announce fresh strikes in escalation of bitter pay dispute

Ambulance workers announce fresh strikes in escalation of bitter pay dispute

Unite has announced a series of fresh strikes by ambulance workers as a bitter dispute over pay and staffing escalates.

The union said its members across England, Wales and Northern Ireland will stage 10 more strikes over the next few weeks, warning that further dates could be announced soon.

Unite ambulance workers are already set to walk out next Monday as the bitter row with the government remains unabated.

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 the coverage of life and limb and who is to blame for excess deaths.

“Our members faithfully provide life and limb cover on strike days and not the unions that are not providing minimum levels of service.

“This government’s disastrous handling of the NHS has brought it to an end, and as the crisis deepens, the prime minister appears to be washing his hands of the dispute. What a shame. That’s the end of the leadership.”

Unite members in the North West, North East, East Midlands, Mid West, Wales and Northern Ireland will be involved in the newly announced strike.

Unite said that, as with previous strikes, its representatives will be working at regional level to agree concessions to ensure emergency life and limb cover are in place during the action.

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

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

“This dispute will only be resolved once the current wage dispute has been properly negotiated.

“The government’s continued attempts to push the bum down the road and its talk of one-off payments, or slightly increased pay awards in the future, are not enough to resolve this dispute.”

Unite has given details of when its members employed by various ambulance trusts will go on strike.

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

Members of the Royal College of Nursing and ambulance workers in the GMB are on strike on 6 February, and the GMB has called for strikes on 20 February as well as 6 and 20 March.

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