Ambulance workers in pre-Xmas strike

Over 1,600 ambulance workers to strike on December 21 as Unite health members send 'stark warning' over NHS crisis

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More than 1,600 workers at the West Midlands, North West and North East ambulance service trusts will strike on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, their union Unite announced on Tuesday (December 6).

Unite says that the action is a `stark warning’ to the government that it must stem the crisis engulfing the NHS following ministers’ deliberate 12-year assault on pay.

Unite’s ambulance workers voted by up to 92 per cent for strike action.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Make no mistake, we are now in the fight of our lives for the very NHS itself. These strikes are a stark warning – our members are taking a stand to save our NHS from this government.

“Patients’ lives are already at risk but this government is sitting on the sidelines, dodging its responsibility to sort out the crisis that it has created,” she added.

“Ministers can’t keep hiding behind the pay review body. They know full well it does not address the desperate need to get huge numbers of NHS workers off the breadline. Fail to act now to avert these strikes and the blame will rest firmly at the government’s door.”

Jason Kirkham, a Unite member and a paramedic in the West Midlands added, “This strike isn’t just about pay – it is to save the NHS. The NHS is crumbling we can’t recruit and retain staff as pay is so low.

“It has got so bad that we have had to open a food bank in my ambulance station.”

Throughout the strike, Unite will maintain essential emergency cover for patients.

Unite continues to ballot 10,000 more NHS workers at 38 different employers across England and Wales, with the results expected later this month.

In January 2023, Unite will extend the strike ballot to even more NHS workers as action to improve pay and staffing levels steps up.

By Barckley Sumner