April date for Yorkshire ambulance strike

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YORKSHIRE is set to be hit by an ambulance strike next month, as Unite members at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service walk out.

The union is planning the action over a series of issues including cuts and union de-recognition, and it will see about 10 per cent of paramedics taking part. Ambulance bosses say they have plans to avoid disruption.

The 450 staff will also start an overtime ban on March 26, and the union says more strikes could be held.

Unite says it was de-recognised after raising concerns about patient safety over plans to make £46 million of savings over the next five years, and is seeking talks to stop the strike..

Regional officer Terry Cunliffe said: “This is a final window of opportunity for the trust to resolve this situation for the benefit of the Yorkshire public.

“The management has been trying to silence Unite after it raised legitimate concerns over patient safety that could flow from the shake-up of ambulance services in the next five years.

“Now our members have voted for strike action and for a continuous overtime ban. It shows the depth of concern that our members feel about patient safety because of the £46 million of savings that managers want to implement.

“The hardline management has responded by de-recognising Unite and twice rejecting our attempts to take this dispute to Acas and to discuss the implications of industrial action.”

Stephen Moir, deputy chief executive at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “We would like to reassure members of the public that the changes we are introducing to our A and E workforce will enable us to continue to deliver a high quality and responsive service to patients and they will always remain our top priority.

“We would also like to provide assurance that the Trust has plans in place to avoid any disruption to patient care if Unite union members decide to go ahead with the industrial action they have outlined today.”