yorkshire ambulance service workers to vote on strike move in pay row
UK – The GMB union said an advisory vote involving almost 1,500 members of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) showed 90% were in favor of the strike.
Ambulance workers in Yorkshire must vote to strike over wage dispute. The union said it was “the biggest mandate ever seen” and YAS employees were outraged by the government’s 4% pay increase. YAS said it is monitoring the situation to ensure “safe and prompt care for patients.”
Dates for an official vote on the strike will be announced “in the coming days,” the union said. Deanne Ferguson, GMB organizer, said staff like paramedics are “fed up”.
She added: “Ambulance staff should not be worrying about how they’ll heat their homes this winter or feed their families, whilst carrying out a crucial service across our communities. The service is crumbling, and it is having an impact on everyone – it is only surviving because of the amazing workers holding it together, through good will.”
A YAS spokesperson said: “We recognise that staff have the right to voice their concerns in this way, and we are monitoring the situation closely to ensure we continue to provide safe and responsive care for our patients. A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said industrial action was a “matter for unions and we urge them to carefully consider the potential impacts on patients”. The spokesman added that the government appreciates the “hard work of NHS staff” and has raised the wages of over “a million NHS workers this year by at least £1,400”.
In July, it was revealed that patients with life-threatening conditions in the region last month waited an average of nine minutes and 30 seconds for an ambulance, short of seven minutes. NHS data showed it took paramedics an average of 43 minutes to reach patients with category two emergencies such as a suspected heart attack or stroke, well over the 18-minute target. Dates for the official vote on the strike will be announced in the coming days.