North West Ambulance Service workers start to vote on strike action



North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) workers are some of the thousands to decide on whether to strike over salaries after a ballot started this week.

It comes after a consultative vote received almost unanimous support from members of GMB at the service.

According to the union, a ballot started this week and lasts until the end of next month.

In total, around 15,000 workers are to decide on whether to strike all over the country.

The reason for the action is a four per cent pay rise announced by the Conservative Government, which GMB said amounts to a pay cut in real terms.

Rachel Harrison, acting national secretary for the union, said: “Workers don’t do this lightly – this would be the biggest ambulance strike for 30 years.

“But more than ten years of pay cuts, plus the cost of living crisis, means workers can’t make ends meet. They’re desperate.”

Ms Harrison said another issue is NWAS and a number of other services are understaffed.

She said: “This is much more about patient safety at least as much about pay. Delays of up to 26 hours and 135,000 vacancies across the NHS mean a third of workers think a delay they’ve been involved with has led to a death.

“Workers have been telling the Government for years things are unsafe. No one is listening. What else can they do?”

Previously, the Department for Health and Social Care defended the four per cent pay rise and warned the services of ‘the potential impact on patients’.

A spokesperson for the department, headed up by Therese Coffey at least until a new Prime Minister selects their Cabinet, said: “We value the hard work of NHS staff and are working hard to support them – including by giving over 1 million NHS workers a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year, as recommended by the independent NHS Pay Review Body.

“Industrial action is a matter for unions, and we urge them to carefully consider the potential impacts on patients.”

These are the other services involved:

East of England Ambulance Service

East Midlands Ambulance Service

London Ambulance Service

North East Ambulance Service

South Central Ambulance Service

South East Coast Ambulance Service

South West Ambulance Service

Welsh Ambulance Service

West Midlands Ambulance Service

Yorkshire Ambulance Service


This article was written by Jack Tooth. Jack is the reporter for The Messenger and covers anything and everything from within the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford.

To contact him, email jack.tooth@newsquest.co.uk or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.





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