Paramedics will go on strike again

Paramedics across the North West will take strike action for the second time tomorrow.

Thursday, 28th June 2018, 4:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th July 2018, 6:16 pm
The industrial action is linked to a pay dispute
The industrial action is linked to a pay dispute

GMB, the union for ambulance staff, has announced the second strike for North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) paramedics as part of a long-running pay dispute.

Other news: Arrests as police probe armed bank raidsAmbulance staff across the region – which covers Lancashire, Cumbria, Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester - will stage a six-hour walk-out at the beginning of each day shift tomorrow.

Earlier industrial action saw staff stage a two-hour walk-out on June 18.

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A ballot of members saw more than 84 per cent of those who responded vote for strike action.

GMB organiser Paul Turner said: “GMB’s hard-working North West paramedics have simply had enough.

“We submitted a Freedom Of Information request to NWAS, which made it clear the trust that had sought advice from senior figures within NHS employers - a clear breach of national job evaluation guidelines (JEG).

“Our members now have no confidence in the JEG to enable a a fair and transparent evaluation.

“GMB is asking for an independent investigation to be undertaken into what has gone on during the past 13 years and the reason we are in this situation.

“Our members have been astoundingly patient in waiting for their job to be re-evaluated for the years between 2005 to 2016.

“We are not taking this action lightly and would have expected the employer to take it more seriously.

“After almost 13 years, our members are now saying enough is enough.”

NWAS said around 50 GMB paramedics were rostered on shift and eligible to take action.

Michael Forrest, deputy chief executive for NWAS, said: “The trust is extremely disappointed with the actions proposed by GMB and believes it has worked closely with them to try and work through the issues which formed the basis of the ballot. Talks are ongoing and we will be doing all we can to minimise any impact on the public.

“We will continue to make attempts to resolve these issues as quickly as possible and would like to assure the public that their safety is our primary concern.

“This second day does have the potential to cause some delays, particularly to the less urgent calls, so while we have robust plans to ensure as much cover as possible, we ask the public to help us by only calling 999 for an ambulance for life-threatening or potentially life-threatening emergencies.

"For non-emergency health concerns, alternative care and advice can be found though local pharmacies, GP surgeries, walk-in centres or NHS111.”