Ambulance Strike Talks Adjourned Until Monday

Union says industrial action will be postponed if 'tangible' offer is made

Talks in London to avert strike action by ambulance services and other NHS staff have been adjourned and will resume at 2pm on Monday 26th January.

GMB, the union for NHS and ambulance staff, have issued the necessary formal notices for strike action on 29th January. The union says the strike will proceed unless a 'tangible' offer is made that they feel they can present to their members.

GMB members in the ambulance service in England and Northern Ireland are considering a strike as part of an escalation of industrial action with other health unions in the pay dispute in the NHS.

The 24 hour stoppage by GMB members in the ambulance service, should it go ahead, will be for the full day on Thursday 29th January.

The joint health unions have announced further strike action for the same day. This will be a 12 hour stoppage from 9am-9pm in NHS (Hospitals). This action will be followed by action short of strike until 24th Feb. This will be followed with a 24 hour stoppage on Wednesday 25th February 2015, time to be confirmed.

Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer, said "We are pleased we are still in the talks. We are making every effort to get a tangible offer on the table to take back to our members to avert the strike next week."

GMB members took part in the strike action in the NHS across England & Northern Ireland on 13th October and 24th November and the four-hour stoppages were followed by action short of a strike with an overtime ban in the ambulance service and other NHS employees working to their contracted hours.

The pay offer for NHS staff in England and Northern Ireland is 1% cash payment in 2014, restricted to staff not eligible for incremental progression and the same approach in 2015. This goes against the recommendation of the independent NHS Pay Review Body for a 1% consolidated pay rise for all staff.

A Department of Health spokesman said. "Clearly, first and foremost we want the strike to be called off. But, while talks are ongoing, the Government is rightly working with the NHS to ensure that the impact on patients is minimal."

The Department of Health has drawn up contingency plans to be implement should the talks fail. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has chaired a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee which discussed measures to be taken if the strikes proceed.


January 23, 2015