Ambulance workers may strike

Yorkshire ambulance workers could strike in what they claim is a dispute over patient safety and the derecognition of Unite, the country’s largest union.

Unite is now beginning the legal process to ballot its 450 paramedics and other ambulance staff members at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust for strike action or industrial action short of a strike. The ballot result could be known by the end of the month.

“I can confirm that Unite has begun the legal process to hold an industrial action ballot over the trust’s unilateral decision to derecognise Unite.

– Unite regional officer Terry Cunliffe

The union is unhappy with plans to introduce emergency care assistants, or ECAs to work alongside more highly-trained paramedics. The ECA staff have only six weeks training, when a paramedic undergoes a two-year degree course.