Posted: Mon 6th Feb 2023

Unite Union: Ambulance workers taking industrial action in Wales today

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Feb 6th, 2023

Ambulance workers who are members of the Unite union will continue their industrial action in Wales today.

The GMB union agreed to suspend the strike while further pay talks take place with the Welsh government.

On Friday, GMB announced that it would ballot its members on a new pay offer, which includes a 1.5% non-consolidated rise and a 1.5% consolidated one-off payment for 2022-2023, on top of the already imposed 4.5%.

Last-minute talks were held between General Secretary of Unite Sharon Graham, head of the Unite union, and Welsh Health Minister Eluned Morgan on Sunday to avoid further strikes in Wales.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales this morning, Sharon Graham called for a more acceptable offer to be made.

She believes that the current offer from the Welsh government, which includes a lump sum, won’t be accepted by the members of her union and has called for more of the money to be included in the workers’ long-term wages for stability.

Ms Graham also criticised the £300 million spent on agency workers in the Welsh NHS and believes that funds could be better used to resolve the ongoing dispute.

She is optimistic about the possibility of a deal being reached but wants to be sure that the offer is accepted by the members of her union.

To support the Welsh ambulance service during today’s strike by Unite members, it is reported that 20 military personnel have been drafted in to drive ambulances.

Further strikes are planned by Unite for February 20, March 6, and March 20.

The Welsh Ambulance Service has advised that during strike action, patients should call 999 only in life-threatening emergencies where there is a risk to life and an ambulance is the only appropriate choice.

The service will still respond to emergency calls, but this may only be in cases where there is an immediate risk to life.

The Welsh government has offered eight health unions an extra 3% increase in the first year, on top of the £1,400 already promised.

This increase would be backdated to April 2022, with 1.5% of it carried forward and consolidated for future years.

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