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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
PA & Paul Britton

Ballot begins on 'biggest ambulance strike for 30 years' at North West Ambulance Service

Ambulance workers at North West Ambulance Service will start voting today on whether to take strike action over pay. More than 15,000 ambulance workers across 11 trusts in England and Wales are involved, according to a union.

Members of the GMB union are being balloted in the coming weeks amid continuing industrial unrest in many sectors of the economy. NHS workers in other unions, including nurses, are also being asked if they want to take strike action over pay.

North West Ambulance Service serves more than seven million people across approximately 5,400 square miles - including Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria, Merseyside and Glossop.


According to the trust, it receives approximately 1.3 million 999 calls and responds to over a million emergency incidents every year.

The GMB union said its members were angry over the Government's imposed 4 per cent pay award, describing it as 'another massive real terms pay cut'.

Rachel Harrison, GMB acting national secretary, said: "Ambulance workers don't do this lightly and this would be the biggest ambulance strike for 30 years. But more than 10 years of pay cuts, plus the cost-of-living crisis, means workers can’t make ends meet.

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS)

"They are desperate. This is much more about patient safety at least as much about pay.

"Delays up to 26 hours and 135,000 vacancies across the NHS mean a third of GMB ambulance workers think a delay they’ve been involved with has led to a death. Ambulance workers have been telling the Government for years things are unsafe. No one is listening. What else can they do?"

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We value the hard work of NHS staff and are working hard to support them – including by giving over one million NHS workers a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year.

"Industrial action is a matter for unions, and we urge them to carefully consider the potential impacts on patients."

The GMB union said any strike action could take place before Christmas.

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