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NHS to face 'biggest ever strike' on February 6 as ambulance workers announce 10 more walkouts
20 January 2023, 07:00 | Updated: 20 January 2023, 10:40
The NHS will be rocked by its biggest day of strike action in February, after ambulance workers at the Unite union voted to walk out strike on ten more dates over the next two months.
Ambulance staff at the GMB union across five trusts will walk out on February 6, the same day that thousands of nurses were already set to go on strike on February 6, as well as ambulance workers at the GMB union.
Unite's ambulance workers are already set to walk out next Monday as the pay row with the Government shows no sign of reaching a resolution.
It comes after thousands of nurses across England went on strike on Wednesday and Thursday this week, while around 1,000 ambulance workers in Wales also walked out on Thursday.
The new dates announced on Friday are:
- West Midlands: February 6 and 17 and March 6 and 20
- North East: February 6 and 20 and March 6 and 20
- East Midlands: February 6 and 20 and March 6 and 20
- Wales: February 6 and 20 and March 6 and 20
- North West: February 6 and 22 and March 6 and 20
- Northern Ireland: January 26 and February 16, 17, 23 and 24
Unite warned that there could be more strikes to come, as the union is balloting members in four other ambulance trusts.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Rather than act to protect the NHS and negotiate an end to the dispute, the government has disgracefully chosen to demonise ambulance workers.
"Ministers are deliberately misleading the public about the life and limb cover and who is to blame for excessive deaths.
“Our members faithfully provide life and limb cover on strike days and it’s not the unions who are not providing minimum service levels: It’s this government’s disastrous handling of the NHS that has brought it to breaking point.
"And as crisis piles on crisis, the prime minister is seen to be ‘washing his hands’ of the dispute. What a disgrace. What an abdication of leadership.”
It comes as members of the Royal College of Nursing and ambulance workers go on strike on February 6.
The GMB has also called strikes on February 20 as well as March 6 and 20.
GMB national secretary Rachel Harrison said earlier this week that the union's message to the government was "talk pay now".
Ex-NHS boss says 'the government can't win' the NHS dispute
"Ministers have made things worse by demonising the ambulance workers who provided life and limb cover on strike days - playing political games with their scaremongering," she said.
"The only way to solve this dispute is a proper pay offer. But it seems the cold, dead hands of Number 10 and 11 Downing Street are stopping this from happening.
"In the face of government inaction, we are left with no choice but industrial action.
"GMB ambulance workers are determined, they're not going to back down. It's up to this government to get serious on pay. We are waiting."