Staff do not want to strike, but they currently feel as if this is the only option.
NEXT Monday (20 February) Ambulance workers will be striking following a 3% pay rise rejection. The GMB Union are demanding a 30% pay rise, but they recognised that 30% is a big jump.
Nathan Holman, the GMB organiser for Wales told CJS News that “staff do not want to strike”, but they currently feel as if “this is the only option”.
Sixty-four per cent of balloted members have rejected the pay offer, Holman says that he regularly deals with workers telling him “I’m struggling to pay for petrol to go to work.”
Holman thinks that the Welsh Government have been more willing to compromise than Westminster in pay negotiating conversations. However, he says it’s still not good enough. The Welsh Government have said this is the best offer they can make.
The GMB aren’t the only union to turn down a pay offer – only two days ago ambulance workers in Unite did the same
The Welsh Government have said they are “disappointed the GMB rejected their pay offer.” They think that 3% in the current economic climate is strong offer, and with the strike set to happen this Monday they are worried for people’s safety.
Welsh Ambulance services NHS Trust are telling people to “plan ahead and stock up on your prescription medicines.” They have asked that people only call 999 if there is a genuine need.
When asked what Holman would say to those who have lost loved ones in this health care crisis, he replied saying “the NHS are fighting everyday to save our public service.” He also told CJS News that “On strike days, people suffering from life-threatening diseases do not suffer more.”