More than 10,000 ambulance drivers vote to strike over pay

Credit: PA

More than 10,000 ambulance workers have voted to strike across nine trusts in England and Wales, the GMB union has announced.

Paramedics will down tools across parts of the UK in a dispute over pay and conditions.

The move increases the threat of widespread industrial action in the NHS before Christmas.

GMB chiefs say its members working as paramedics, emergency care assistants, call handlers and other staff are set to walk out in the following trusts:

  • 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

  • West Midlands Ambulance Service

  • Welsh Ambulance Service

  • Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

The GMB said workers across the ambulance services and some NHS trusts have voted to strike over the Government’s 4% pay award, which it described as another “massive real-terms pay cut”.

The union will meet with reps in the coming days to discuss potential strike dates before Christmas.

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.”

It comes after news that up to 100,000 nursing staff voted to take part in their first and biggest ever UK-wide strike this December, as a broader NHS pay row deepens.

Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will take industrial action on December 15 and 20, it has been announced.

The two walkout dates were confirmed after members voted in favour of industrial action in a ballot, in what will be the RCN's first ever UK-wide strike in its 106-year history.

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