This content was published on January 20, 2023 – 16:57
LONDON (Reuters) – Ambulance workers will strike on a series of new dates in February and March, a British trade union unit said, in the latest sign of a deepening dispute between the government and health workers over pay.
Ambulance workers in England will walk out on February 6, 17, 20 and 22 and March 6 and 20, while members in different regions will strike on different days, Unite said.
The new dates will heighten fears for the safe running of England’s health service on February 6, when other health-related unions, including the Royal College of Nursing, will also walk out.
The United Kingdom has been hit by a wave of strikes over the past six months, the first in a generation, as railway workers, teachers and postal workers strike to demand higher pay in the face of rising inflation.
Unite said the government must negotiate current wages to end the strike.
“Continued attempts by the government to push the envelope and talk of one-off payments or future wage increases are not enough to resolve this dispute,” Unite’s top official Onay Kassab said in a statement on Friday.
Members of a separate union, the GMB, which represents ambulance staff and other health workers, have already planned strikes on February 6 and 20 and March 6 and 20.
Britain’s Department of Health and Social Care said in an emailed statement it was disappointed by news of further strikes, and said discussions with unions on wages for the 2023-2024 period were “constructive”.
“Ambulance staff do a fantastic job and it’s disappointing that some union members are going on strike again at a time when the NHS (health system) is already under huge pressure from dealing with Covid, flu and backlash,” he said. Spokesperson.
(Reporting by Yatharisa Shabong in Bengaluru and Sarah Young in London)
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