Socialist Worker

Health workers

Issue No. 1909

AMBULANCE WORKERS in the north east of England met on Monday of this week to plan the next step in their campaign.

The North East Ambulance Service is one of the “Early Implementer” sites, testing the government’s Agenda For Change (AFC) scheme that, if implemented, will put every NHS worker on a new contract.

The agreement that reduced ambulance workers’ week to 37.5 hours excluded meal breaks.

Workers at the North East Ambulance Service, who are in the Unison union, have been refusing to answer calls during their meal breaks.

They voted on Monday by 55 to 27 to accept a proposal of binding arbitration in the dispute.

They also voted to continue their industrial action.

Yunus Bakhsh is a member of the Unison health service executive. He says, “Only around 9,000 of 35,000 staff at Early Implementer sites have actually been assimilated into AFC. But even the figures for these staff show that 15 to 18 percent are losing out. It could be up to 30 percent in Sunderland. The results from West Lothian are even worse.”

Special Health Worker conference on AFC, Saturday 31 July, 1.15pm, Carrs Lane Church Centre, Birmingham. Registration £6. Send registrations to C Bedale, 123 Coppice Street, Oldham OL8 4BH.

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Article information

Sat 10 Jul 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1909
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