Fresh ambulance strikes announced

Unite announces 10 new strike dates as ambulance dispute escalates

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Unite has announced fresh dates in an escalation of the ambulance workers dispute.

Members of Unite will stage ten further strikes over the coming weeks*. Additional dates could be announced in the comings days.

The announcement of fresh strike comes ahead of the latest day of industrial action with Unite’s ambulance workers set to walk out next Monday (January 23).

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Rather than act to protect the NHS and negotiate an end to the dispute, the government has disgracefully chosen to demonise ambulance workers. Ministers are deliberately misleading the public about the life and limb cover and who is to blame for excessive deaths.

“Our members faithfully provide life and limb cover on strike days and it’s not the unions who are not providing minimum service levels: It’s this government’s disastrous handling of the NHS that has brought it to breaking point. And as crisis piles on crisis, the prime minister is seen to be ‘washing his hands’ of the dispute. What a disgrace. What an abdication of leadership.”

The newly announced strike action will involve Unite’s members in the North West, North East, East Midlands, West Midlands, Wales and Northern Ireland.

As with previous strikes, Unite’s representatives will be working at a regional level to agree derogations to ensure that emergency life and limb cover will be in place during the strikes. Other derogations will ensure that patients needing lifesaving treatment, such as renal care and cancer treatment, will be transported to their appointments.

Unite national lead officer Onay Kasab added, “The resolution to this dispute is in the government’s hands. This dispute will only be resolved when it enters into proper negotiations about the current pay dispute.

“The government’s constant attempts to kick the can down the road and its talk about one off payments, or slightly increased pay awards in the future, is simply not sufficient to resolve this dispute.”

Unite is currently balloting it is members at four other ambulance trusts, who could potentially join the dispute later next month.

By Barckley Sumner

*Current details of when Unite members employed by different ambulance trusts workers will be striking:

West Midlands: 6 and 17 February and 6 and 20 March

North East: 6 and 20 February and 6 and 20 March

East Midlands: 6 and 20 February and 6 and 20 March

Wales: 6 and 20 February and 6 and 20 March

North West: 6 and 22 February 6 and 20 March

Northern Ireland: 26 January and 16, 17, 23 and 24 February