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Ambulance workers in Wales won’t follow those in England out on Christmas strike

29 Nov 2022 3 minute read
Picture by the Welsh Government

Ambulance workers in Wales won’t follow those in England out on strike after the threshold for strike action was not met anywhere.

Ambulance workers across England are set to strike before Christmas after members of the Unison trade union voted in favour of industrial action over pay and staffing levels.

In Wales, the Unison trade union’s health committee is to meet to decide on its next steps.

in England, Unison said thousands of 999 call handlers, ambulance technicians, paramedics and their colleagues working for ambulance services in the North East, North West, and South West of the country, as well as London and Yorkshire, would be called out on strike.

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “The decision to ​take action and lose a day’s pay is always a tough call. It’s especially challenging for those whose jobs involve caring and saving lives.

“But thousands of ambulance staff and their NHS colleagues know delays won’t lessen, nor waiting times reduce, until the Government acts on wages. That’s why they’ve taken the difficult decision to strike.

“Patients will always come first and emergency cover will be available during any strike. But unless NHS pay and staffing get fixed, services and care will continue to decline.

“The public knows health services won’t improve without huge increases in staffing and wants the government to pay up to save ​the NHS. It’s high time ministers stopped using the pay review body as cover for their inaction.

“Jeremy Hunt, Rishi Sunak and Steve Barclay must roll up their sleeves and start talking to unions about how better wages for staff can help start to turn the NHS around.”

Results

More than 80,000 health workers across England have voted to go on strike and although ​the vote was just below the 50% threshold in many ​trusts, ​ministers would be in no doubt about the level of anger and frustration from NHS workers, said Unison.

The union’s health committee is analysing the results of the ballot and will decide what happens next.

Health workers belonging to Unison and working in Northern Ireland have already voted to take action over pay and staffing.

In Scotland, Unison is recommending its NHS members vote to accept the latest offer from the Scottish government which will see a £2,205 increase for the lowest paid staff, and more for those on higher bands. That vote closes on December 12.


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