Ambulance strikes might proceed till Easter if there is no such thing as a motion from the UK authorities on this yr’s NHS pay deal, unions stated on Wednesday as they set dates for additional walkouts.
The GMB union stated greater than 10,000 of its members at eight ambulance trusts in England and Wales would stage 4 extra nationwide strikes on February 6 and 20, and March 6 and 20. There would even be a walkout within the West Midlands on January 23 and within the North West on January 24.
“Our message to the federal government is obvious — speak pay now,” stated Rachel Harrison, nationwide secretary of the GMB, which stated the refusal of the prime minister and chancellor to seek out extra funding to interrupt the impasse had left them with “no selection however industrial motion”.
The GMB additionally stated ministers had made issues worse by “demonising” ambulance employees who had offered “life and limb” cowl on strike days.
Grant Shapps, the enterprise secretary, stated this week that laws giving ministers energy to impose minimal service necessities throughout strikes in important sectors have been wanted partly as a result of unions had reached solely native agreements, not nationwide ones, throughout earlier ambulance walkouts.
Unite, which represents about 100,000 NHS employees, additionally stated it was assembly on Wednesday to set additional dates for strikes by its ambulance members, with motion more likely to proceed by February and March if the federal government didn’t have interaction in pay talks. Its ambulance members in Wales are already set to strike on Thursday and Monday.
Sharon Graham, Unite’s basic secretary, stated help for strikes was rising as a result of ministers have been “ignoring” and “insulting” NHS employees, “and now threatening them with the sack in the event that they struggle for respectable pay”.