Ambulance workers announce 10 more strikes as bitter pay row escalates

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.

They will bolster the ranks of their paramedic colleagues with the GMB union who announced on Wednesday that more than 10,000 of their members in England and Wales will also strike on the same dates – including 6 February, when thousands of nurses will also walk out.

The newly announced industrial action will take see paramedics with Unite walk out on varying dates including 6, 17, 20, 22 February and 6 and 20 March in Wales and certain parts of England, while their colleagues in Northern Ireland will take action on 26 January and 16, 17, 23 and 24 February.

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.”

The resolution to the bitter dispute is “in the government’s hands”, added Unite national lead officer Onay Kasab, accusing ministers of failing to enter proper negotiations.

“The government’s constant attempts to kick the can down the road and its talk about one off payments, or slightly increased pay awards in the future, is simply not sufficient to resolve this dispute,” he said.

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