Ambulance staff vote to strike before Christmas over pay dispute

More than 1,500 ambulance workers have voted to strike across the North West.

Paramedics, Emergency Care Assistants, call handlers and other staff are now set to walk out in Wigan and the rest of the region.

Workers across the ambulance services and some NHS Trusts have voted to strike over the Government’s imposed four per cent pay award - a massive real terms pay cut with inflation at 11 per cent.

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It comes as a third of GMB ambulance workers think delays they've been involved with have led to the death of a patient.

Ambulances outside Wigan Infirmary

GMB will now meet with reps in the coming days to discuss potential dates before Christmas.

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But the rules requiring emergency care to be provided mean their impact will be limited.

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 frontline 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.

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“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.”

Wigan Today has contacted the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and is waiting for a response.