Welsh Ambulance workers could walk out in dispute over pay

The GMB union says Welsh paramedics and ambulance workers are angry over an imposed 4% pay rise which it said has left them facing another “massive real terms pay cut”. Credit: ITV News Wales.

Welsh Ambulance Service staff are to be balloted on potential strike action following the Welsh Government’s 4% pay award, the GMB Union has confirmed.

The union, which represents almost 1,500 service staff, said 90% of its members voted in favour of a walkout in a recent consultative ballot.

It says paramedics and ambulance workers in Wales are angry over an imposed 4% pay rise which it said has left them facing another “massive real terms pay cut”.

It's calling on the Welsh Government to increase the pay for “hard pressed” ambulance staff.

The industrial action comes as strikes are also being held by ambulance staff across England. Credit: ITV News Wales

GMB official Kelly Andrews said: “Unfortunately 4% is like sticking a plaster on an open wound – it’s not going to help.

"Ambulance staff are at the forefront of our emergency services and already underpaid and undervalued for the work they do.

"The UK and Welsh governments need to come back to the table with something that recognises their hard work.”

The Welsh Ambulance Service said it's aware of the industrial action ballot and it appreciates that "such a ballot is not undertaken lightly.

A spokesperson said the service respects the right of Trade Union members to strike, "in the event that this outcome is supported. Should this be the case, we look forward to working closely with Trade Union partners to ensure we can continue to provide a safe service to the most acutely unwell patients across Wales.”

The Welsh Government says it has accepted the independent pay review body’s recommendations "in full".

It adds, "without additional funding from the UK Government, there are inevitably limits to how far we can go in Wales. We have committed to continue to explore a range of other issues raised as part of our discussions with trade unions.”