Union calls for ‘constructive negotiations’ to avert South Yorkshire ambulance strike

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AMBULANCE workers in South Yorkshire have voted to hold a one-day strike on April 2 and a continuous work-to-rule from next week in a dispute over budget cuts.

Unite members at Yorkshire Ambulance Service are walking out over plans to introduce emergency care assistants to work alongside more highly-trained paramedics.

Terry Cunliffe, the union’s regional officer, said he was calling for ‘constructive negotiations’ to avert the strike.

“This is a final window of opportunity for the trust to resolve this situation for the benefit of the Yorkshire public,” he said.

“Our members have voted for strike action on April 2 and for a continuous overtime ban from March 26. It shows the depth of concern that our members feel about patient safety because of the £46million of savings that managers want to implement.”

Stephen Moir, deputy chief executive of Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said plans would be put in place to ‘avoid any disruption to patient care’.

“We would like to reassure members of the public that the changes we are introducing to our A&E workforce will enable us to continue to deliver a high quality and responsive service to patients, and they will always remain our top priority,” he said.