More ambulance workers will strike before Christmas as another union joins action

Unite members have now also joined the mass walk-out by thousands of emergency workers (Picture: EPA)

Unite’s ambulance service workers in England have voted for industrial action, paving the way for strikes to begin before Christmas.

Members of two unions representing ambulance staff have already voted for strike action in England and Wales as the NHS pay dispute deepens.

Paramedics, call handlers and other staff at 10 ambulance services have backed a walkout in the ballots run by Unison and the GMB.

Thousands of 999 call handlers, ambulance technicians, paramedics and their colleagues working for ambulance services in the North East, North West, London, Yorkshire and the South West are due to be called out on strike over pay and staffing levels.

Staff are set to strike before Christmas (Picture: Getty Images)
Around 10,000 union members are set to take industrial action (Picture: AFP)

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The union revealed large numbers of its members had voted to take industrial action following a long-running dispute over pay and staffing levels.

It said workers across the ambulance services and some NHS trusts have voted to strike over the Government’s 4% pay award, which it described as another ‘massive real-terms pay cut’.

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Meanwhile, the Unite union’s ambulance service workers in England have voted for industrial action, paving the way for strikes to begin before Christmas.

Rachel Harrison, GMB national secretary, said: ‘Ambulance workers – like other NHS workers – are on their knees.

‘Demoralised and downtrodden, they’ve faced 12 years of Conservative cuts to the service and their pay packets, fought on the front line of a global pandemic and now face the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation.

‘No-one in the NHS takes strike action lightly – today shows just how desperate they are.

‘This is as much about unsafe staffing levels and patient safety as it is about pay. A third of GMB ambulance workers think delays they’ve been involved with have led to the death of a patient.

‘Something has to change or the service as we know it will collapse.

‘GMB calls on the Government to avoid a winter of NHS strikes by negotiating a pay award that these workers deserve.’

lkout ‘in a bid to be heard’ by the government over a pay dispute.

Strikes are likely to start before Christmas, but the rules requiring emergency care to be provided mean their impact will be limited.

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