Ambulance service staff ready to take strike action

Picket line in December close to Ramsgate's ambulance station Photo Frank Leppard

Ambulance service staff will take strike action tomorrow (January 11) in a dispute over pay, conditions, and recruitment.

More than 10,000 GMB Union ambulance workers across nine trusts in England and Wales, including South East Coast Ambulance Service, will take part in the industrial action.

Paramedics, Emergency Care Assistants, call handlers and other staff across the ambulance services and some NHS Trusts have voted to strike over the Government’s imposed 4 per cent pay award – saying it is another massive real terms pay cut.

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Secretary, said:   “Ambulance workers across England and Wales will go on strike for the second time.

“GMB cancelled a planned strike over the Christmas period to say thank you to the public for their incredible support.

“It also allowed time for the Government to talk to us about pay, but Ministers have dithered and postured, wasting valuable time.

“To end this dispute, GMB needs a concrete offer to help resolve the NHS’s crushing recruitment and retention crisis.

“The public expects the Government to treat this dispute seriously – it’s time they got on with it.”

Nurses also taking industrial action next Wednesday and Thursday and a further ambulance strike is scheduled for Monday 23rdJanuary.

Ambulance services will prioritise the most clinically urgent cases and on strike days if it is not life-threatening people may have to wait longer than usual. Where safe and appropriate, some may be asked to make their own way to hospital – although it is important that they get medical advice from 111 or 999 before doing so.

The NHS will contact anyone whose appointment has to be rescheduled due to strike action.

The NHS is  asking people to use services wisely by going to NHS 111 online as the first port of call for health needs and continuing to call 999 in a life-threatening emergency.

General practice, community pharmacies, and dentistry are not impacted by strike action and the public should continue to access these services as needed on strike days.

28 Comments

  1. The money can also be found on the NHS that’s being wasted daily!

    It’s a black hole for money and no matter how much they get itll never ever be enough for them!

  2. Do you really think that if cheaper printer paper was used, the money saved would be directed to payrises for front line NHS workers?
    I don’t.
    And the fact that this government has seriously underfunded the NHS for over a decade, and put in place cumbersome and ineffectual management structures, is no reason at all as to why the people that save your life shouldn’t get a decent wage.
    I note that MP’s get £80,000 plus expenses; some (mostly Tories) “earn” around £15M on top of that; Theresa May alone gets over £2M for speeches.
    And just what *did* happen to the £350M a week that, post Brexit, was going to go to the NHS? It can’t *all* have been spent on printer paper.

      • It’s not a case of “either/or”. There’s plenty of money available (at least £350M a week) to pay front line workers a reasonable wage. Plenty more, too, if organisations like Virgin Healhcare paid UK Tax.
        Ironic, isn’t it, that you’ve got a better chance of getting an ambulance under the new anti strike legislation than “normally”. Unions are required to provide a minimum level of service. The government isn’t.

          • The government’s own analysis of their 2019 manifesto said inflation would hit 10% by 2023. The same government analysis said that if public sector pay rises do not match inflation there is likely to be wide scale industrial action. People voted for this and to try and stop the strikes is a classic case of trying to subvert the will of the people. If you voted Tory this is what you wanted. Stope being a snowflake and deal with it.

  3. Here’s a thought! I have just seen a list of all the Essential Workers” this Tory government intends to punish if they dare strike in future! All of them are being expected to take a pay cut to pay for tax cuts for the rich! How about if all “Essential Workers” stopped paying income tax? My guess is that would make sure they all had a living wage, its ludicrous “Essential Workers” should pay income tax anyway!

  4. Why can’t the profits from the the “national lottery” help pay the increase in their wages, after all, it is for a good cause. But saying that, I wonder how many of the strikers would go to the help of their family and relatives, but not to the general public (unless it’s a category 1).

      • Yes, maybe, but it’s a shame all the other hospitals were closed in the 60′ 70’s and 80’s when various governments were in power, so in all fairness, no matter who is in power, no one cares about peoples health, or, anything else for that matter, as long as there alright.

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