More strikes on cards at ambulance service

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Ambulance workers in South Yorkshire are set to walk out on another four five-hour strikes.

Members of the Unite trade union at Yorkshire Ambulance Service are striking from 3pm to 8pm this Friday, next Monday, March 24, and Saturday, March 29.

A further strike is planned from 3am to 8am on Monday, March 31.

The union is embroiled in a long-running dispute with the ambulance trust.

It is unhappy about cuts to the service’s budget, the level of training given to emergency care assistants who work alongside paramedics, and longer shifts.

Union leaders say the shifts could mean staff working for 10 hours without a meal break.

Members have already walked out eight times.

Unite’s regional officer Terry Cunliffe said: “Our members don’t take strike action lightly – it has been a last resort – but they feel there are important issues at stake here involving patient and staff safety.”

Meanwhile the ambulance service has agreed to several demands made by the Unison union, which has more members at Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Among these were changes around meal breaks and end-of-shift overtime.