Thousands of ambulance workers vote to join NHS strikes before Christmas | The Sun

THOUSANDS of ambulance workers have voted to go on strike before Christmas, it's been announced.

Staff will strike just one day after nurses, on December 21 in a dispute over pay, the GMB, Unison and Unite unions announced.

Ambulance crews working for services in London, Yorkshire, the North West, North East and South West will strike on Wednesday 21 December, says Unison.

Any extra disruption is likely to worsen 999 waits and A&E delays, which are already at record highs.

Rachel Harrison, GMB national secretary previously said ambulance workers – like other NHS workers – are 'on their knees'.

"Demoralised and downtrodden, they’ve faced 12 years of Conservative cuts to the service and their pay packets, fought on the frontline of a global pandemic and now face the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation.

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“This is as much about unsafe staffing levels and patient safety as it is about pay. A third of GMB ambulance workers think delays they’ve been involved with have led to the death of a patient," she said.

Up to 10,000 members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) union working for NHS employers in England will also strike.

They are set to walkout at 53 NHS organisations in England where the legal mandate for strike action was secured earlier this month.

Just last week it was revealed that nurse strikes could hit A&E, as only chemotherapy, critical and intensive care and kidney dialysis will be spared.

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Local hospitals and union reps will negotiate over strikes in areas that are not considered “life-preserving”.

It means parts of casualty departments, cancer scans, maternity wards and operating theatres could be hit by the strikes on December 15 and 20.

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said: “Nursing staff do not want to take this action but ministers have chosen strikes over negotiations.

“Every nurse feels a heavy weight of responsibility to make this strike safe.

"Patients are already at great risk and we will not add to it.

“This list of exemptions shows how seriously we take our commitment and it should put patients’ minds at ease.”

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