North West Ambulance Service staff face ballot on strike action
Nearly 2,000 paramedics and ambulance workers in Wigan and across the North West will be balloted on strike action.
The GMB union is launching a formal industrial action ballot for the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), as it claims employees are “understaffed and overworked” and their “low pay barely covers the essentials”.
The dates of the vote will be announced in the coming days.
The move comes following a consultative ballot which saw more than 95 per cent of GMB’s NWAS members vote in favour of a walk-out.
Paramedics and ambulance workers are angry over the Government’s four per cent pay award, which they say leaves them facing a real-terms pay cut.
GMB has also announced a formal strike ballot among thousands of workers at Yorkshire, North East, West Midlands and East Midlands ambulance services.
GMB organiser Mike Buoey said: “Ambulance workers are on the frontline saving lives. They shouldn’t have to come home to worries about making ends meet.
“The cost of living is rising – and even more steeply due to the Conservative Government’s economic mismanagement.
“Our ambulance service is understaffed and overworked. Their low pay barely covers the essentials. It just isn’t good enough.”
An NWAS spokesman said: “This is the result of a national pay dispute and not one we can control. We recognise this is a difficult time across the country, including for our staff who work incredibly hard to support the people of the North West.
“We are keeping track of the situation and have plans to minimise any impact on patients should a future ballot result in industrial action.”