Six further ambulance strike dates announced
The union Unite has announced six days of strike action among its ambulance service staff, some of which coincide with action by GMB at the same trusts.
In England, Unite members will strike at the East Midlands, West Midlands, North East and North West ambulance service trusts. There are also strikes planned in Northern Ireland and Wales.
Unite’s newly announced action will coincide with GMB action in the North East, East Midlands and North West on 6 February and 20 March; and in the North East and East Midlands, also on 20 February.
Unison – the largest ambulance service union in many areas – has not so far announced new strike dates, but this is likely.
Also on 6 February, Royal College of Nursing members will strike at 73 trusts, making it one of the biggest days of strike action in NHS history.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Rather than act to protect the NHS and negotiate an end to the dispute, the government has disgracefully chosen to demonise ambulance workers.”
The escalation follows repeated calls from unions for ministers to open negotiations on the 2022-23 Agenda for Change pay deal. The latest pay award was met with widespread dismay as it was significantly below current levels of inflation.
Although media reports have suggested the government is considering offering deals, including one-off payments and growth for the 2023-24 pay round, no formal moves have been made thus far. The British Medical Association is also balloting junior doctors for action over pay.