Socialist Worker

Merseyside ambulance workers strike

Issue No. 2010

Several hundred ambulance workers on Merseyside struck on Thursday of last week in a dispute over new pay structures.

The workers are members of the Ambulance Service Union (ASU), a breakaway from the Unison union.

Ray Carrick of the ASU said, “We were pleased with the strike. In the ballot 91 percent voted in favour of industrial action on a turnout of 71 percent. Further walkouts were set for Tuesday of this week and this Sunday.”

The dispute is over the implementation of Agenda for Change—a pay and conditions agreement affecting all NHS staff. The ASU is demanding that ambulance technicians are placed on band five of the new pay structure.

This was agreed by an Agenda for Change evaluation panel in March. However, ambulance service managers are attempting to place the technicians on band four.

The ASU represents about 200 ambulance workers on Merseyside. The Unison union, which also represents ambulance workers in the region, was not involved in the strike.

Peter Chapman, Unison branch secretary for Mersey Region Ambulance Service, told Socialist Worker that Unison’s view was also that technicians should be placed on band five. “We are pursuing the national negotiations process,” he added.

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Sat 22 Jul 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2010
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