Wednesday 21 February 2024
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Ambulance workers on strike across the region on Wednesday

More than 3,000 GMB Union ambulance workers across the Midlands will strike on Wednesday 11 January 2023.

Paramedics, Emergency Care Assistants, call handlers and other staff will stage major pickets in Lincoln, Nottingham, Leicester, Stoke, Donnington and across the region.

Workers across the ambulance services and some NHS Trusts have voted to strike over the Government’s imposed 4 per cent pay award – which the union describes as ‘another massive real terms pay cut.’

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Secretary, said:

“Ambulance workers across England and Wales will go on strike for the second time today.

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“GMB cancelled a planned strike over the Christmas period to say thank you to the public for their incredible support.

“It also allowed time for the Government to talk to us about pay, but Ministers have dithered and postured, wasting valuable time.

“To end this dispute, GMB needs a concrete offer to help resolve the NHS’s crushing recruitment and retention crisis.

“The public expects the Government to treat this dispute seriously – it’s time they got on with it.”

East Midlands Ambulance Service said:

‘Industrial action is planned to take place at East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) on Wednesday 11 January 2023, from 00.01 hours to 23.59 hours.

‘The GMB trade union received enough votes to have a mandate to strike and take action short of a strike in response to the national pay dispute with the government. NHS pay levels are agreed at a national, not local, level and are therefore negotiated nationally for NHS employees.

‘Many staff at EMAS are members of a trade union. We have a workforce of over 4,000 people which includes colleagues across all areas of our organisation eg A&E frontline ambulance crews, 999 control rooms, Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services and Enabling Services. GMB trade union members taking this action may affect up to 50% of staff.

‘Whilst we fully recognise and respect an individuals’ legal right to participate in industrial action, our underlying duties and responsibilities are to ensure that patient or staff safety, welfare, dignity, or respect are not jeopardised by industrial action.’

Ben Holdaway, Director of Operations at EMAS, said:

“Industrial action last took place at EMAS on 21 December 2022, and despite a 33% reduction in emergency and urgent calls on the day, it remained immensely challenging.

“We are again working closely with trade union colleagues, and NHS and blue-light service providers across the region to do all we can to minimise the impact on patient safety.

“Our operational teams have developed contingency plans to aim to maximise the number of ambulance staff and volunteers we have available to respond to patients, as well as clinical staff able to carry out remote clinical assessments.

“However, we again anticipate that on Wednesday there will be fewer ambulances available and therefore our responses to our patients will, inevitably, be much slower on the day.

“Where possible, our 999 control rooms will carefully assess and prioritise an ambulance response for those who need it most, and this may only be where there is a threat to life.

“Despite huge pressures, the NHS remains open and people are asked not to store up their health conditions or soldier on over the coming days if they are unwell – seek early advice from your local pharmacist, NHS111 online, via your local GP or Urgent Treatment Centre; and if you have a long-term condition, ensure you continue to take your routine medication as advised by your GP.

“It is important that the public use services wisely and make their own way to a treatment centre or hospital if safe to do so; this allows us to send our ambulances with life-saving equipment and clinicians on board to people who really need them.”

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.

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