East Lancashire ambulance staff vote for industrial action

East Lancashire ambulance staff vote for industrial action

East Lancashire ambulance staff vote for industrial action

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

AMBULANCE staff in East Lancashire have joined colleagues across the region in voting for industrial action, as part of a dispute over allowances and staffing cover.

Although they secured enough votes to go on strike, members of the GMB union have instead opted to refuse overtime shifts in the first week in August. The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) workers also signed up to a ‘withdraw of goodwill’ in the same week.

The dispute centres around the trust’s Cost Improvement Programme for 2014/15, which proposed cutting £6.5 million from the emergency service budget.

Although the most controversial aspects of the plan, including a reduction in weekend paramedic cover in Blackburn, Burnley and Nelson, have been suspended for a year, workers said the savings will still need to be made once the temporary funding runs out.

Crews are also furious about the withdrawal of mileage and subsistence allowances for staff working overtime.

The announcement follows a ballot in which 94 per cent of members voted in favour of industrial action short of a strike, while 73 per cent voted for strike action.

Branch secretary Steve Rice said the withdrawal of goodwill meant staff would cease certain duties which are not within their contracts, such as starting shifts early to check their vehicles.

He added: “The trust are saying we are not required to work overtime, to justify cutting the expenses payments, but its a daily occurrence for an email to go round asking for shifts to be filled. It’s not a great deal of money but it’s wound up a lot of staff.”

The Unite union said it was ‘concerned’ about the situation, but had no plans for industrial action. Unison was unavailable for comment yesterday.

A spokesman for NWAS said: "As always, the trust’s main consideration will be ensuring that care of patients will not be affected.”

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:41am Sat 26 Jul 14

HelmshoreMan2010 says...

Fair play to them for finding a safe way to get a message across.
Fair play to them for finding a safe way to get a message across. HelmshoreMan2010
  • Score: 5

11:58am Sat 26 Jul 14

The old faithfull says...

With the economy now back on track , according to leading Tories, it's about time that these men and women received a lot more than a 1% increase in their salaries , after all they never refuse to attend to the dregs of society ,ie,
bankers, MPs, directors of quick loan companies etc. ..........
With the economy now back on track , according to leading Tories, it's about time that these men and women received a lot more than a 1% increase in their salaries , after all they never refuse to attend to the dregs of society ,ie, bankers, MPs, directors of quick loan companies etc. .......... The old faithfull
  • Score: 7

12:22pm Sat 26 Jul 14

burner says...

I can agree with both of the previous posters . . . . but you, and the fire-fighters are wasting your time. It's not the 1970's.
I can agree with both of the previous posters . . . . but you, and the fire-fighters are wasting your time. It's not the 1970's. burner
  • Score: -5

1:10pm Sat 26 Jul 14

the beaver says...

The old faithfull wrote:
With the economy now back on track , according to leading Tories, it's about time that these men and women received a lot more than a 1% increase in their salaries , after all they never refuse to attend to the dregs of society ,ie,
bankers, MPs, directors of quick loan companies etc. ..........
Back on track you forgot about the 1.2 Trillion debt about 1 Billion a week in interest. I think as it stands you should be grateful the money actually goes in your account. They really do a fantastic job especially as they deal with the scum of the earth on a daily basis. But fight all you want if you get a pay rise its got to come from somewhere and it just gets to a point where there will be no money left for pensions.
[quote][p][bold]The old faithfull[/bold] wrote: With the economy now back on track , according to leading Tories, it's about time that these men and women received a lot more than a 1% increase in their salaries , after all they never refuse to attend to the dregs of society ,ie, bankers, MPs, directors of quick loan companies etc. ..........[/p][/quote]Back on track you forgot about the 1.2 Trillion debt about 1 Billion a week in interest. I think as it stands you should be grateful the money actually goes in your account. They really do a fantastic job especially as they deal with the scum of the earth on a daily basis. But fight all you want if you get a pay rise its got to come from somewhere and it just gets to a point where there will be no money left for pensions. the beaver
  • Score: -1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree