Wednesday 24 April 2024
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Ambulance strikes: Picket line in Wilford on first day of ambulance workers’ strike

Members of the GMB union who work for East Midlands Ambulance Service were out at 6 am this morning at the station in Wilford.

Motorists beeped their horns in support as they passed the depot.

The 24-hour action from ambulance staff on Wednesday 21 December affects non-life-threatening calls only.

An ambulance worker at the station told The Wire that they ‘just want the government to talk’ to look at improving working practices, pay and conditions.

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He said he earns £30 more per month now than he did a decade ago. He said they are supposed to hand over emergency cases at hospitals in 15 minutes, but it can take 9 hours – even if it happened in 15 minutes, he explained that the staff need more time to prepare for their next call – that they never know what they’ll face.

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In the East Midlands, the GMB union’s strike action will affect up to 50% of ambulance workers.

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EMAS said it would aim to minimise the impact of strike action on patients.

The result of the action is that some patients who have non-life-threatening conditions will have to wait longer for an ambulance.

The NHS said “where safe and appropriate”, those people might be asked to make their own way to hospital but should seek advice from 111 or 999 before doing so.

Strike action will end at 6:00 am on Thursday, and is set to continue from 6:00 am on 28 December, to 6:00 am on 29 December.

@westbridgfordwirenews Members of the GMB union who work for East Midlands Ambulance Service were out at 6 am this morning at the station in Wilford. Motorists beeped their horns in support as they passed the depot. The 24-hour action from ambulance staff on Wednesday 21 December affects non-life-threatening calls only. An ambulance worker at the station told The Wire that they ‘just want the government to talk’ to look at improving working practices, pay and conditions. In the East Midlands, the GMB union’s strike action will affect up to 50% of ambulance workers. . Full story and pictures at link in bio #gmb #nottingham #notts #nottinghamshire #uknews #bbcnews #foryoupage #fyp #picketline #nursestrike2022 #nhs #ambulance #ambulancestrike #ambulance_tiktok #ambulanceservice #westbridgford #union #strikeaction ♬ original sound – West Bridgford Wire News

Ben Holdaway, director of operations at EMAS, said: “During the period of the dispute, we will do all we can to minimise the impact on patient safety and will continue to work very closely with trade union colleagues, regional service providers and NHS employers.

“Patients should continue to call for an ambulance as normal if they experience a life-threatening emergency and should continue to access other more appropriate services for any other illnesses or injuries.

“We fully respect the right of NHS staff to take lawful and peaceful industrial action, however, we do urge national employer representatives and trade union colleagues to proactively engage and reach a negotiated settlement to the dispute as quickly as possible.”

The GMB result of the Industrial Action Ballot held at EMAS was:

59.58% Turnout,
84.84% Yes to Action,
94.31% Yes to Action Short of Strike.

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Secretary, said:

“Ambulance workers – like other NHS workers – are on their knees.

“Demoralised and downtrodden, they’ve faced twelve years 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.

“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.”

 

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