Unite has announced a number of more ambulance workers strike as the heated pay and staffing dispute intensifies.
The union announced that its members will stage 10 more strikes in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland over the coming weeks, and it issued a warning that further dates could be announced soon.
As the tense dispute with the government remains unresolved, Unite’s ambulance workers have already announced that they will strike on Monday.
Unite provided information about the dates its members, who work for several ambulance trusts, will go on strike:
• West Midlands: 6 and 17 February and 6 and 20 March
• North East: 6 and 20 February and 6 and 20 March
• East Midlands: 6 and 20 February and 6 and 20 March
• Wales: 6 and 20 February and 6 and 20 March
• North West: 6 and 22 February and 6 March and March 20
• Northern Ireland: 26 January and 16, 17, 23 and 24 February
Sharon Graham, Unite’s general secretary said: “Rather than act to protect the NHS and negotiate an end to the dispute, the government has disgracefully chosen to demonise ambulance workers.
“Ministers are deliberately misleading the public about the life and limb cover and who is to blame for excessive deaths.
“Our members faithfully provide life and limb cover on strike days and it’s not the unions who are not providing minimum service levels.
“It’s this government’s disastrous handling of the NHS that has brought it to breaking point, and as crisis piles on crisis, the prime minister is seen to be washing his hands of the dispute. What a disgrace. What an abdication of leadership.”
According to Unite, representatives will work at the regional level to agree on derogations to ensure emergency life and limb cover remains in place during the strike.
Other exemptions, according to the union, would ensure that patients in need of life-saving treatment, such as renal care and cancer treatment, are transported to their appointments.
Unite official Onay Kasab said: “The resolution to this dispute is in the government’s hands. This dispute will only be resolved when it enters into proper negotiations about the current pay dispute.
“The government’s constant attempts to kick the can down the road and its talk about one off payments, or slightly increased pay awards in the future, is simply not good enough to resolve this dispute.”
Members of the Royal College of Nursing and ambulance workers in the GMB will go on strike on February 6, and the GMB has also scheduled strikes on February 20, as well as 6 and 20 March.