Socialist Worker

999 staff meals row

Issue No. 1910

AMBULANCE workers in the Unison union in the north east of England are still in dispute with their management over changes to their meal breaks.

The government’s Agenda for Change plan, which will change the conditions of every NHS worker, is being tested by the North East Ambulance Service.

Workers were shocked to find that under the scheme they would lose their paid meal breaks.

Last week they voted to accept binding arbitration, but to also continue industrial action—refusing to answer calls during meal breaks—to maintain the pressure for an acceptable deal.

Management refused to allow arbitration while industrial action continued.

And workers have now seen a document which would allow the arbitrator to determine pay and the times of meal breaks if they found in favour of management.

The ambulance workers planned to meet later this week to consider their next moves.

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Sat 17 Jul 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1910
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