Ambulance workers announce fresh strikes in escalation of bitter pay dispute

A series of fresh strikes by ambulance workers has been announced by Unite in an escalation of the bitter dispute over pay and staffing. The union said its members across

England, Wales and Northern Ireland will stage 10 further strikes over the coming weeks, warning that additional dates could be announced soon. Unite’s ambulance workers are

already set to walk out next Monday as the bitter row with the government remains deadlocked. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Rather than act to protect the NHS

and negotiate an end to the dispute, the government has disgracefully chosen to demonise ambulance workers. “Ministers are deliberately misleading the public about the life

and limb cover and who is to blame for excessive deaths. “Our members faithfully provide life and limb cover on strike days and it’s not the unions who are not providing

minimum service levels. “It’s this government’s disastrous handling of the NHS that has brought it to breaking point, and as crisis piles on crisis, the prime minister is

seen to be washing his hands of the dispute. What a disgrace. What an abdication of leadership.” The newly-announced strike action will involve Unite’s members in the North

West, North East, East Midlands, West Midlands, Wales and Northern Ireland. Unite said that as with previous strikes, its representatives will be working at regional level

to agree derogations to ensure that emergency life and limb cover will be in place during the action. Other derogations will ensure that patients needing lifesaving

treatment, such as renal care and cancer treatment, will be transported to their appointments, said the union.