Yorkshire Ambulance Service workers to strike in June

  • 24 May 2013
  • From the section England
Striking ambulance workers in Leeds
Image caption About 450 ambulance workers took part in April's 24-hour strike

Ambulance workers in Yorkshire will stage two further days of strike action in June, the Unite union has said.

It follows a 24-hour walkout on 2 April in a dispute over the introduction of emergency care assistants to work alongside Yorkshire Ambulance Service's paramedics.

Unite, which represents about 10% of the service's workforce, claimed the move would jeopardise patient care.

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust said the claims were unfounded.

The trust said it was trying to maintain care levels while making £46m savings in five years, and that other ambulance services had been using emergency care assistants successfully for a number of years.

But Unite regional officer Terry Cunliffe said the service was "going from bad to worse".

"No emergency worker ever wants to go on strike. But if the trust is refusing to meet to discuss members' concerns they are left with little choice," he said.

"As clinicians, they feel very strongly about what they see as the downgrading of the frontline response to emergency calls and the serious affect this will have on patient care in Yorkshire."

'Open to discussions'

The union said its 500 members at the service would walk out for 12 hours on 7 June, followed by a 24-hour stoppage on 22 June unless progress is made in negotiations.

A spokesperson for the trust, said: "Senior representatives from the Trust continue to have on-going dialogue with ACAS in a bid to resolve this issue.

"All of our decisions are focused on continuing to deliver a high quality and responsive service to patients and this will always remain our top priority so we have always been open to discussions with Unite the Union regarding their concerns over patient safety."

The NHS trust ended its voluntarily recognition of Unite for the purposes of collective bargaining in February.

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