GMB ambulance workers announce tighter derogations as strike action escalates

Workers furious at being smeared by Ministers and insulted by employers may now only respond to the most serious emergences, says GMB Union

2 Mar 2023| News

More than 13,000 ambulance workers are expected to walk out in an ongoing dispute about pay on March 6 and 8. [1]

Previously ambulance workers have worked round the clock to work out complicated life and limb cover arrangements with individual trusts.

But in a sign of escalating tensions, ambulance workers will now tighten derogations – in many cases only responding to the most life-threatening calls, known as category 1.

Ambulance workers are angry not only with the ongoing dispute, but also apparent attempts by Ministers to ‘smear’ them over the life and limb cover they’ve provided – along with trusts sending striking workers to non emergencies.

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Secretary, said:

“GMB members working for ambulance trusts are understandably upset. They worked round the clock to provide a better service for emergencies than on non-strike days – often arriving on the scene before police and other emergency workers.

What was their thanks? To be smeared by Ministers for risking lives. Meanwhile some ambulance services abused their trust – sending striking workers to non-emergency call outs, like drunk people at bus stops.

Now they see other emergency workers threatening to strike with no derogations – and those workers are either instantly offered a deal, or are immediately involved in intensive talks.

Of course GMB ambulance workers would never put lives at risk, but it’s no wonder they may now refuse to answer all but the most serious of emergencies – and consider escalating industrial action in the coming weeks.”

[1] The following trusts will strike on March 6

North West Ambulance Service
Welsh Ambulance Service
West Midlands Ambulance Service
East Midlands Ambulance Service
East of England Ambulance Service
South West Ambulance Service
South Central Ambulance Service
South East Ambulance Service

The following trusts will strike on March 8

Yorkshire Ambulance Service
North East Ambulance Service