Unison boss states Government has “adamantly refused” to engage in a “proper discussion” on pay ahead of Wednesday’s ambulance strikes

pharmafile | December 19, 2022 | News story | Medical Communications  

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea has said that Wednesday’s ambulance strikes will go ahead without a “very firm commitment” on pay, as the Government has “adamantly refused” to engage in a “proper discussion” about pay rises.


Around 10,000 ambulance staff in England and Wales will strike on Wednesday, as well as 28 December. This follows a second nurses’ strike on Tuesday, which will lead to thousands of rescheduled appointments and surgeries.


Health Secretary Steve Barclay has voiced his concerns about the strikes, stating that there was a lack of clarity when it came to what services were still being offered during the ambulance strike, and that the unions had to ensure they “met their obligations” for emergency cover.


Under trade union laws, life-preserving care must be provided during the strikes. To ensure this, unions have said that discussions are still taking place with ambulance trusts to draw up detailed plans for cover. However, the Government has called in the armed forces to help, with 750 military staff using civilian ambulances, 600 drivers and 150 support staff.


Last week’s nurses strike saw around 10,000 staff absent while nearly 16,000 appointments, procedures and surgeries were rescheduled.


Both Unison and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) union have threatened further strikes in the new year if an agreement isn’t reached.


James Spargo

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