500 ambulance workers set to walk out again

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Hundreds of Yorkshire ambulance workers are planning a second strike in a matter of months over staffing changes.

Public service union Unite says its 500 drivers, paramedics and administration staff at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust will strike on Friday June 7, from noon to midnight, after a similar walk-out last month.

The union also threatened a further one-day strike, on June 22, if the trust continues to refuse to negotiate over a five-year workforce plan that includes introducing emergency care assistants, for which training takes six weeks, to work alongside paramedics.

Terry Cunliffe from Unite said: “Once more, Unite calls for the management to do the mature thing and get around the table and negotiate in a positive fashion.

“No emergency worker ever wants to go on strike. But if the trust is refusing to meet to discuss members’s concerns they are left with little choice.”

The trust plans to make £46m of cuts over the next five years.

A spokeswoman for the trust said: “All of our decisions are focused on continuing to deliver a high quality and responsive service to patients and this will always remain our top priority so we have always been open to discussions with Unite the Union.”

She said the trust had not received any formal notification of industrial action from Unite but is working with mediators Acas in a bid to resolve the issue.