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Ambulance workers to stage two days of strikes this month

THE GMB UNION has announced the dates almost 1,500 ambulance workers will walk out across Wales.

Paramedics, Emergency Care Assistants, call handlers and other staff will strike on 21 and 28 December, from 00:01 until 23:59 each day.

Workers across the ambulance services and some NHS Trusts have voted to strike over the Government’s imposed 4 per cent pay award – another massive real terms pay cut.  

GMB representatives will now meet with WAS to discuss requirements for life and limb cover.

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Secretary, said: “Ambulance workers – like other NHS workers – are on their knees.

“Demoralised and downtrodden, they’ve faced twelve years Conservative cuts to the service and their pay packets, fought on the frontline of a global pandemic and now face the worst cost of living crisis in a generation.  

“No one in the NHS takes strike action lightly – today shows just how desperate they are.

“This is as much about unsafe staffing levels and patient safety as it is about pay. A third of GMB ambulance workers think delays they’ve been involved with have led to the death of a patient.  

“Something has to change or the service as we know it will collapse.

“GMB calls on the Government to avoid a winter of NHS strikes by negotiating a pay award that these workers deserve.”

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS raised the decision by thousands of ambulance workers and other NHS staff to strike on December 21 in the Senedd on Tuesday (Dec 6), calling for action to be taken by the Welsh Government to avoid the strike and for the Welsh Government to come forward with a statement to the Senedd on how the emergency cover is going to be maintained during the strike, which is one of the NHS’ busiest periods.

Commenting Jane Dodds said: “As industrial action goes, this is possibly the most alarming in terms of the potential risk to life.

“Nobody takes strike action lightly, least of all those in our health service. This shows just how desperate health workers are amid pressures on pay, but also on working conditions.

“The Welsh Labour Government must negotiate with the unions in order to reach a fair compromise and ensure life-saving services operate at full capacity during the winter.”