This site is intended for UK healthcare professionals
Medscape UK Univadis Logo
Medscape UK Univadis Logo

Ambulance Worker Strikes in England Called Off by As Union Enters Pay Talks

Ambulance worker strikes set for today in England were called off Sunday afternoon by the Unite union, as the union plans to enter pay talks with the Government. Union members at ambulance trusts in the West Midlands, North West, South Central, South Coastal, and East Midlands had planned to take part in the strike.

Unite head of operations Gail Cartmail said: "Following further assurances from the Government over the weekend, Unite has in good faith agreed to pause the strike action.

"If the meeting doesn’t meet these assurances strike action will resume."

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "We're pleased that unions representing the majority of ambulance workers, nurses, physiotherapists, porters, cleaners, and other non-medical staff have agreed to pause strikes and enter a process of intensive talks.

"We want to find a fair and reasonable settlement that recognises the vital role of NHS workers, the wider economic pressures facing the UK and the Prime Minister’s priority to halve inflation."

The union said the assurances relate to confirmation that any deal will include new money, rather than placing further pressure on NHS budgets and an indication discussions will not impact the conditions on health staff.

Talks are expected early this week.

Today's strike would have marked the first time that Unite members in South Central and South Coastal had taken industrial action. Members in Yorkshire, who are also planning to strike for the first time, were due to take industrial action on Wednesday.

Unite had also called off strikes in Wales on March 6 due to pay talks continuing with the Welsh Government. It comes after Unison and GMB unions cancelled industrial action which would have involved tens of thousands of key workers. Unison and GMB made the decision after the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) said money was available for potential pay rises covering this year and next.

Some 32,000 NHS workers would have been involved in planned Unison strikes, including 24,500 ambulance staff, while 13,000 ambulance workers were part of the GMB action.

This article contains information from PA Media