Ambulance crews to strike on Monday

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Ambulance crews are to stage a four hour strike on Monday.

Strike action will take place between 7am and 11am, during the same time period as other NHS workers.

The GMB union has agreed with North West Ambulance Service that life-threatening and certain other categories of call, such as renal dialysis and oncology patients, will be responded to by GMB ambulance crews during the dispute.

In addition, GMB has agreed that the NWAS major and hazardous incident team will remain on duty in case a major incident occurs.

The strike action on Monday will be followed by an overtime ban in the ambulance service from Tuesday 14th to Friday 17th inclusive, with other NHS employees working to their contracted hours during the same period.

GMB conducted an official ballot of 22,000 members in the NHS in England and Northern Ireland.

There was overwhelming support for industrial action against the government and employers pay policies.

The pay offer is a 1% unconsolidated offer for 2014 for those who get it and a further 1% unconsolidated offer in 2015 for those who get it.

Ray Carrick, GMB regional officer, said “GMB has worked closely with NWAS management to ensure that a reasonable level of emergency cover is maintained during the four hour period of the strike action.

“The strike has arisen because of the Government’s overruling of the independent, NHS Pay Review Body’s (PRB) recommendation for a 1% consolidated pay rise across the board for all NHS staff.

“The intervention by Government means that the 1% will only be available to approximately 40% of NHS employees and it will not be consolidated in to basic pay.

“Government intervention is in stark contrast to its view when the PRB for MPs recommended that MPs should receive a pay rise of 11%.

“In that case the Government said it could not interfere with the recommendation because it had come from an independent body. Our members are angry as there seems to be one rule for MPs and a different rule for everyone else.”