Yorkshire Ambulance service workers have voted to strike on the fifth and sixth of July - the weekend of the Tour De France. Four hundred members of the Unite union are embroiled in a long-running dispute over new working conditions and meal breaks.
The union says it has very real concerns about patient and staff safety and has denied that taking industrial action next weekend is a cynical ploy.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service say they are disappointed at the decision by staff belonging to the Unite union to strike on the weekend of the Tour de France.
We are disappointed with the Unite the Union ballot result and the continued threat of industrial action. There is no mandate for strike action with less than 50% turnout from Unite members; only 177 people participated in the vote from our total workforce of over 4,600 staff. Strike action is certainly not in the best interests of our patients and we are disappointed that Unite continues to put patients at risk.
We would like to reassure members of the public that Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is committed to minimising the level of disruption to its services during any periods of industrial action and we have robust contingency plans in place to ensure we continue to provide responsive, effective and safe services for our patients.
– David Whiting, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Staff from Yorkshire Ambulance Service have voted to strike on the weekend of the Grand Départ leg of the Tour de France in Yorkshire.
The union UNITE balloted members over the action which is the latest in a long running dispute over patient and staff safety issues.
Unite members working at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust voted by 84 per cent to strike between 06:00 and 23:59 on Saturday 5 July and on Sunday 6 July, starting at 18:00 and ending at 22:00.
The 400 members of the union represent less than ten per cent of the Trust's full staff.
Bosses at the Ambulance Service withdrew recognition from Unite as a union representing staff as a result of the continuing dispute.
Unite say staff are concerned about the introduction of elongated shift patterns. The union claim it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed as a result of staff exhaustion.
Staff from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service belonging to the Unite union have announced they will strike this weekend.
The strike will take place across the county from 3pm on Saturday to 7am on Sunday morning.
The union has three hundred and seventy five members in the service.
The crux of the dispute is the introduction of longer shift patterns that could mean staff working ten hours without a meal break.
The union has said that it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed as a result of staff exhaustion.
In a statement the Trust said it has "taken all reasonable procedural steps to resolve the dispute and has fully cooperated with the course of action agreed with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)."
Workers at the Ardagh Glass sites in Yorkshire have voted overwhelmingly to accept an improved pay offer. The pay deal means six per cent over two years, an improvement on the 5.5 per cent deal previously on the table which had been rejected by the workforce.
Unite, the country’s largest union, said that members at Barnsley, Doncaster and Knottingley had voted by 80 per cent to accept the offer.
The improved offer is 2.75 per cent from 1 February this year to 1 August when a further 0.25 per cent will be paid until 31 January 2014. All pay will be backdated. There is a three per cent offer for the pay year, starting on 1 February 2014.
Unite deputy regional secretary for Yorkshire Tas Sangha said: “Unite and the GMB union worked very hard to get this improved offer from the company. We recommended that our members accepted it – and we are pleased that they have now voted overwhelmingly to do so._
Glass workers in Yorkshire have suspended strike action due to start today as they consider a new 5.5% two year pay deal. Workers at Ardagh Glass sites in Barnsley, Doncaster and Knottingley were due to walk out today in a dispute over pay.
The talks concluded in the early hours of this morning and the improved pay offer and the review of ‘committed’ working will now be put to a ballot of our members. While our members consider the company’s offer, the series of strikes that were scheduled to start today and due to run until 9 September are suspended. Unite would like to thank Acas and its personnel for their hard work in helping to broker this package overnight.”
– Tas Sangha, Unite deputy regional secretary for Yorkshire
Yorkshire ambulance workers have voted to hold a one day strike on Tuesday 2nd April. Members of the Unite union will work out because of a dispute over cost cutting measures which could see assistants with only six weeks training brought in to work with paramedics.
Union members also voted in favour of implementing a continuous overtime ban from 26th March.
Unite calls for the management to open constructive negotiations in the run-up to 2 April. This is a final window of opportunity for the trust to resolve this situation for the benefit of the Yorkshire public. The management has been trying to silence Unite after it raised legitimate concerns over patient safety that could flow from the shake-up of ambulance services in the next five years.
Now our members have voted for strike action on 2 April and for a continuous overtime ban from 26 March. It shows the depth of concern that our members feel about patient safety because of the £46 million of savings that managers want to implement. The hardline management has responded by derecognising Unite and twice rejecting our attempts to take this dispute to Acas and to discuss the implications of industrial action.”