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New strikes planned across five ambulance trusts

Published on: 31 Jan 2023

The major ambulance service union, Unison, has announced a further strike date, with ten days’ notice.

It will cover five trusts: London, Yorkshire, the South West, North East and North West.

The strike on 10 February is on top of several NHS walkouts already planned for next week and beyond (see charts below).

Unison said in a statement today: “Strikes will now be happening across the NHS every day next week apart from Wednesday (8 February). Unison’s action follows hard on the heels of strikes involving ambulance staff, nurses and physiotherapists organised by four other health unions.”

It is part of an ongoing and historic dispute over the 2022-23 Agenda for Change pay deal.

Ministers three weeks late with pay review evidence

Meanwhile, ministers have been criticised by the health and social care committee after it was revealed it had not submitted evidence to the NHS pay review body three weeks after its deadline.

PRB chair Philippa Hird told the Commons health and social care committee this morning they had not yet received evidence from the Department of Health and Social Care.

The deadline for the 2023-24 pay round was 11 January, she confirmed.

It comes amid a major industrial dispute over the 2022-23 pay round, amid which ministers have hinted they want to speed up the 2023-24 settlement.

Ms Hird told MPs she had written to ministers about the importance of the deadline, who had told her they understood the concerns. The Treasury has submitted evidence.

The pay review body expects to report on the 2023-24 pay round by the end of April. 

Health committee chair and Tory MP Steve Brine said he was “astonished” by the DHSC’s delay, and added: “Having spent all the holiday season, since the [PRB] remit letter effectively, standing behind the pay review body, to then not respond to it by the date that you asked for…

“You say ‘we hope to hear from the government’, but you do not have to hear from the government, do you? They do not have to respond to you. This must be intolerable.”

Ms Hird said she still expected evidence from the DHSC, but when asked what if it did not arrive, she added: “We will cross that bridge when we come to it”.

Although some unions have decided against taking part in the pay review body process for this year, stating they believe it is not fit for purpose, Ms Hird confirmed some unions are still taking part.

However, she did not disclose who they were as they have not published their evidence publicly.

A DHSC spokesman told HSJ: “The government is committed to announcing awards for our hard-working public sector workers in a timely manner.

“We recognise the importance of giving certainty on 2023-24 pay settlements as early as possible, and the government will publish its evidence to the pay review bodies in due course.”