GMB CEC Authority For Official Strike Ballot In England Ambulance Service Unless Progress Is Made Over 25% Cut In Sick Pay For 35,000 Staff
This moves us a step closer to a national dispute in the ambulance service in England as other unions are likely to adopt a similar stance.
GMB Central Executive Council (CEC) meeting today (15th October) in London has given authority for negotiators to proceed to an official strike ballot unless there is progress in discussions with employers who imposed cuts to sick pay by up to 25% for 35,000 ambulance workers in England from 1st September.
Last month the TUC Congress in Bournemouth backed a GMB emergency motion on resisting cuts to ambulance workers pay by up to 25%. See notes to editors for text on motion carried at TUC Congress.
A GMB spokesperson said “A full report was given to CEC from the national negotiators on this dispute. CEC has now given has given authority for the negotiators to proceed to an official strike ballot unless there is progress in discussions with employers.
This moves us a step closer to a national dispute in the ambulance service in England as the CEC was told that the other unions (Unite and Unison) are likely to adopt a similar stance to that of GMB”.
Contact Rehana Azam 07841 181 656 or Brian Strutton 07860 606 137 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251823
Notes to editors
Text of emergency motion
Emergency Motion for TUC Congress 2013
Ambulance Service - NHS Employer Imposed Cuts to Sick Pay
The Ambulance Service unions call on the TUC to give its full backing to ambulance workers in England who are facing imposed cuts of up to 25% to their sick pay without agreement, and who are prepared to take strike action to defend their terms and conditions.
The GMB, alongside Unite and Unison, balloted their members on a proposal put forward by NHS employers to cut ambulance workers Unsocial Hours Allowance Sickness Entitlement. In the GMB consultation over 90% of ambulance workers rejected cuts to their sick pay with similar results in Unison and Unite.
Despite this NHS Employers told unions on 29 August they were proceeding and have imposed changes without notice and without agreement with effect from 1/9/2013. As a result of this imposition local and national disputes have been lodged with the ambulance service.
999 Ambulance workers are doing an incredible job looking after the public whilst government policy is crippling the NHS, and driving ambulance services to crisis point. GMB ambulance members have spoken loud and clear in this ballot; Ambulance workers refuse to see their colleagues, and ultimately the public, put at risk and we ask for TUC support in calling on NHS employers to withdraw their imposition and get back round the negotiating table. The prospect of industrial action is an inevitable reality should employers not withdraw their imposition.
from GMB, UNISON and UNITE