Ambulance staff strike vote

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Ambulance workers in South Yorkshire are being balloted for strike action over changes to shift patterns which union chiefs say will result in staff working 12-hour shifts.

Members of the Unite trade union will be asked to vote on whether to walk out over the introduction of new working hours next month.

The ballot is the next step in a long-running dispute between the union and Yorkshire Ambulance Service over funding cuts, as well as the introduction of ‘emergency care assistants’ on ambulances, which the union says should receive better training.

Unite members took strike action twice last year, and in November paramedics lobbied Yorkshire MPs at Westminster.

Regional officer Terry Cunliffe said: “The latest erosion in employment conditions is the demand to work elongated shifts which could mean working more than 10 hours on the trot before a meal break.

“I think the people of Yorkshire will find this completely unacceptable.”

The ballot closes on January 24.