The GMB and Unison have called off strike action for members after agreeing to talks with the Government but members of Unite union will still walk out.
The Health Secretary wrote to unions following an announcement that GMB ambulance workers would reduce emergency cover on strike days.
The Department of Health and Social Care has now agreed to discuss pay for both this year and next year – as well as improvements to other terms and conditions.
Unions, which include Unison as well as GMB, have suspended strikes on March 6 and 8 involving more than 13,000 workers. Talks are expected to commence early next week.
However, industrial action is still planned to take place by Unite at organisations including South East Coast Ambulance Service on Monday 6 March, with members walking out for the first time since industrial action began in December 2022.
The period of industrial action will be from midday to midnight on 6 March for Unite.
The public are asked to only calling 999 in the event of a genuine emergency.
People are urged to make use of alternatives to calling 999 if they are not facing a serious emergency including seeing help and advice via NHS 111 Online at 111.nhs.uk.
Unite Executive Head of Operations, Gail Cartmail, said: “The government has said for months that it cannot negotiate and then when suddenly it is prepared to, it lists a series of totally unreasonable pre-conditions for starting talks. This isn’t a negotiation it’s an ultimatum.”
The decision to go ahead with the strike action was unanimous and made by Unite lay representatives from the ambulance trusts involved in the dispute.
“Less than 24 hours later we received a letter from the Secretary of State for Health, Steve Barclay, inviting us and other unions to pay talks.
“This is a huge shift from the Government, who for months have refused to consider negotiations on pay. Now, they are saying they are willing to sit down and talk.
“The Government has given assurances of additional cash for both years above existing budgets and that any deal will respect the existing Agenda for Change structure.
“GMB’s ambulance workers have agreed to suspend industrial action so talks can begin – however the strike will return with a vengeance should talks break down.”