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Ambulance workers and nurses to strike on same day

Ambulance workers and nurses to strike on same day

More than 10,000 ambulance workers will join nurses in a combined strike next month, which is expected to be one of the biggest in the history of the NHS.

GMB announced four more national strike days as paramedics, emergency care assistants, call handlers and other staff will walk out on 6 February, 20 February, 6 March and 20 March.

On the first day of the fresh strikes, they will join tens of thousands of nurses who had already announced industrial action on this date.

In November, GMB union members voted against the Government’s 4% pay rise, saying it was ‘another massive real terms pay cut.’

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Secretary, said that the ‘cold, dead hands of Number 10 and 11 Downing Street seem to be stopping [a] pay deal.’  

She said: ‘GMB’s ambulance workers are angry. In their own words “they are done.”

‘Our message to the Government is clear – talk pay now. Ministers have made things worse by demonising the ambulance workers who provided life and limb cover on strike days – playing political games with their scaremongering. 

‘The only way to solve this dispute is a proper pay offer. But it seems the cold, dead hands of the Number 10 and 11 Downing Street are stopping this from happening.

‘In the face of government inaction, we are left with no choice but industrial action. 

‘GMB ambulance workers are determined, they’re not going to back down. It’s up for this Government to get serious on pay. We are waiting.’

Pat Cullen, RCN general secretary and chief executive, said: ‘It is with a heavy heart that nursing staff are striking this week and again in three weeks.

‘We are doing this in a desperate bid to get ministers to rescue the NHS. The only credible solution is to address the tens of thousands of unfilled jobs – patient care is suffering like never before.

‘My olive branch to governments – asking them to meet me halfway and begin negotiations – is still there. They should grab it.’

Meanwhile, the BMA also said that GP trainees will not be barred from protesting during potential upcoming junior doctor strikes, but will only be able to join a picket line at or close to the hospital they are currently working in.

The union announced that England’s junior doctors will strike for 72 hours in March should last week’s ballot be successful.

This morning, health secretary Steve Barclay said that ‘unaffordable’ pay hikes for NHS staff will mean cutting patient care.

Last week, Mr Barclay confirmed steps the Government is taking to ensure the NHS has the support it needs to tackle ‘increased pressures’ and gave updates on the Government’s plans to provide up to £250m to speed up getting patients out of hospital.