STRIKES UPDATE: Latest on North East Ambulance Service action and Go North East pay dispute
Ambulance workers in Unison are to stage two fresh strikes in the dispute over pay and staffing.
Members of the union in five ambulance services in England will walk out on January 11 and 23.
The strike will affect London, Yorkshire, the North West, North East and South West and follows action by members of three ambulance unions on Wednesday.
Unison said the new strikes were a direct result of the government’s “repeated refusal” to negotiate improvements to NHS pay this year.
The January strikes will each be for 24 hours from midnight to midnight and involve all ambulance employees, not just the 999 response crews, as was the case on Wednesday.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay infuriated union leaders on Wednesday by saying they had taken a “conscious decision” to harm people.
Many of the services’ employees are likely to be exempted from the action under emergency cover plans to be drawn up locally by each ambulance employer, working with Unison, said the union.
Meanwhile, around 150 bus engineers have accepted pay rises of up to 13.1% after they called off strike action.
The Go North East workers, based at depots in Tyneside, Northumberland, County Durham and Wearside, have voted to accept the pay deal following negotiations last week.
Strike action that was due to begin this week was called off.
The Unite union said the vast majority of workers will receive a rise of between 10 and 13.1 per cent, depending on their grade, along with an attendance bonus on top of the increase.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This wage deal for Go North East engineers is an excellent result for Unite’s members and testament to the hard work of our reps.
“We are determined to improve the jobs, pay and conditions of our members in the bus industry and this win shows that workers get results when they’re in Unite.”
Unite regional officer Dave Telford said: “This result is another reminder that those looking to improve their wages and working conditions should join Unite and get their colleagues to do the same.”