Ambulance workers to strike after rejecting offer

About 1,500 ambulance workers in Wales will strike on Monday after a pay offer was rejected.

The GMB union said about 66% of its members voted against the wages offer from the Welsh government.

Action had been suspended while members voted, but they will now strike on 20 February.

The Welsh government said it was disappointed, with a spokesman saying the offer was “a strong one” – 3% for 2022-23.

This was on top of the average 4.5% that was paid to health workers last autumn.

But Nathan Holman of the GMB in Wales said: “We thank the Welsh government for actually entering talks, but if this is their final offer it’s too low for our members.

“Now more than ever we need a UK-wide solution to the scourge of low pay that has affected our NHS and ambulance services.”

Earlier this week, the Unite union announced that 92% of its members rejected the deal on a 70% turnout.

A Welsh government spokesman said: “We are disappointed the GMB has rejected our improved pay offer.

“We believe the offer, equivalent to an extra 3% – 1.5% of which will be in pay every year – is a strong one. This is on top of the 4.5% average pay rise for 2022-23, which has already been awarded.

“This is the best offer we can make in our current funding settlement. We have drawn together all our available funding from across the Welsh government to make this improved offer to try and resolve the dispute.

“We will wait for the views of other health trade union colleagues who continue to discuss this offer before considering the next steps. We are committed to continuing to work in social partnership.”

Looking ahead to Monday’s strike, the spokesman said the government was was working “to ensure life-saving and life-maintaining care” is provided, patient safety is maintained and disruption is minimised.

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