Connect with us


Now ambulance workers vote to strike as NHS nurses walk out before Christmas

AMBULANCE workers across England are set to strike before Christmas in a row over pay and staffing.

More than 80,000 staff members voted for the strike.

More than 10,000 ambulance workers have voted to strike across nine trusts in England and Wales

This includes 999 call handlers, ambulance technicians, paramedics and their colleagues.

The vote was below the 50 per cent threshold in many trusts but Unison said ‘ministers should be in no doubt’, when it comes to the anger and frustration of NHS workers.

The decision was made after the government granted a four per cent pay award, which the union described as a ‘massive real-terms pay cut’.

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “The decision to take action and lose a day’s pay is always a tough call. It’s especially challenging for those whose jobs involve caring and saving lives.

“But thousands of ambulance staff and their NHS colleagues know delays won’t lessen, nor waiting times reduce, until the Government acts on wages. That’s why they’ve taken the difficult decision to strike.

“Patients will always come first and emergency cover will be available during any strike. But unless NHS pay and staffing get fixed, services and care will continue to decline.

“The public knows health services won’t improve without huge increases in staffing and wants the government to pay up to save the NHS. It’s high time ministers stopped using the pay review body as cover for their inaction.

“Jeremy Hunt, Rishi Sunak and Steve Barclay must roll up their sleeves and start talking to unions about how better wages for staff can help start to turn the NHS around.”

The results of the ballow are set to be analysed, with the union health committee set to make a decision from then.

It comes just weeks after it was revealed nurses will also strike in an historic move for the profession.

Rachel Harrison, GMB national secretary said ambulance workers – like other NHS workers – are ‘on their knees’.

“Demoralised and downtrodden, they’ve faced 12 years of Conservative cuts to the service and their pay packets, fought on the frontline of a global pandemic and now face the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation.

“No one in the NHS takes strike action lightly – today shows just how desperate they are.

“This is as much about unsafe staffing levels and patient safety as it is about pay. A third of GMB ambulance workers think delays they’ve been involved with have led to the death of a patient.

“Something has to change or the service as we know it will collapse.

“GMB calls on the Government to avoid a winter of NHS strikes by negotiating a pay award that these workers deserve,” she added.

Works in Northern Ireland already voted to take action, while in Scotland, Unison is recommending its NHS members vote to accept the latest offer from the Scottish government.

This offer will see a £2,205 increase for the lowest paid staff, and more for those on higher bands.

Yesterday it was revealed that up to 100,000 nurses will strike for two days next month.

Some 45 hospital trusts will be hit, plus 20 community, ambulance and admin groups, on December 15 and 20, the Royal College of Nursing has revealed.

It is half the number that voted to strike over pay.

Action will ramp up in January if no deal is agreed, said the RCN, which wants a 19 per cent rise.

General Secretary Pat Cullen said strikes could be averted with talks.

She said: “Nursing is standing up for the profession and their patients. We’ve had enough of being taken for granted and being unable to provide care patients deserve.”



  1. Pingback: The 10 worst areas for ambulance delays – is yours on the list?

  2. Pingback: Nurse strikes could hit A&E and cancer services – with only critical care spared

Leave a Reply


Must See


More in Health