Ambulance strike action spreads
GMB Union members at eight of England’s ten ambulance trusts have voted to take strike action.
The union issued a statement this afternoon stating: “More than 10,000 paramedics, emergency care assistants, call handlers and other staff have voted to strike in nine trusts across England and Wales.”
The only two English ambulance trusts where GMB members have chosen not to strike are London and East of England.
Unison yesterday announced that its members working for ambulance services “in the North East, North West, London, Yorkshire and the South West” would be called out on strike before Christmas.
The GMB vote means strike action will now impact services in the Midlands and South East. It would appear that only the East of England will be unaffected by strike action undertaken by the two unions. The results of the ballot being undertaken by Unite members of ambulance trusts are due this week.
The GMB said it would now “discuss potential strike dates before Christmas”. Meanwhile, the Royal College of Nursing is planning to hold strikes on 15 and 20 December.
Rachel Harrison, GMB national secretary, said: “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.”
Other trade unions are expected to announce their results soon, with Unite’s closing this week.