Ambulance staff to strike over shifts

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Ambulance workers are to go on strike after voting for industrial action in a long-running dispute over shifts.

Members of Unite in Yorkshire will stage a 24-hour walkout on February 1 and a four-hour stoppage from 3pm on February 3.

Unite is protesting over new shift patterns, which it claims could mean paramedics going more than 10 hours without a meal break and staff being forced to work 12-hour shifts. Members at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust voted by 76 per cent for strike action.

Unite regional officer Terry Cunliffe said: “The shift patterns are not family-friendly and will lead to an over-tired workforce.”

The Trust disputes the claim by the union, arguing the new arrangements would end shift over-runs, improve allocation of rest breaks and improve access to staff training.