Ambulance workers to join ‘safety’ strikes

INDUSTRIAL ACTION: Up to 400 ambulance staff across Yorkshire could take part in the daytime strikes this Friday and Tuesday

INDUSTRIAL ACTION: Up to 400 ambulance staff across Yorkshire could take part in the daytime strikes this Friday and Tuesday

First published in News
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AMBULANCE staff across Yorkshire are expected to strike for two days in the next week.

Up to 400 members of UNITE within the Yorkshire Ambulance Service could take part in the days of action, on Friday, and on Tuesday, September 2, as part of the union's dispute over safety issues within the organisation.

The dispute has run for almost two years - with strikes also taking place during the Tour de France - and is mainly due to longer shift patterns and more use of emergency care assistants, which UNITE believe could contribute to serious injury or death of a patient or staff due to exhaustion.

Terry Cunliffe, UNITE regional officer, said: "The trust’s chief executive David Whiting continues to play hard ball with his employees and has snubbed every genuine attempt by Unite to engage in positive talks for the benefit of the Yorkshire public.

"Our members firmly believe that the public deserve a first-class, fully resourced ambulance service – and, as they have shown on a number of occasions since April 2013, they have been prepared to strike to strongly make that case. We have been buoyed up by the support we have received from Yorkshire people – and we thank them for that."

Ian Brandwood, executive director of HR at YAS, said: "We remain disappointed that Unite the Union has decided to continue with yet more strike action.

"Once again the industrial action will take place without any concessions for the most seriously ill and injured patients and we remain concerned over this type of action. We would like to reassure members of the public that we have robust contingency plans in place.

"Throughout the period of industrial action we will be taking steps to maintain operational cover to sustain effective and safe services for our patients who find themselves needing emergency medical assistance. We will continue to make every effort to get to patients as quickly as possible, whilst maintaining high standards of patient care."

To find your nearest non-emergency service, go to nhs.uk/service-search or phone 111.

Both strikes will take place between 3pm and 9pm.

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