Strike ballot for ambulance staff

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AMBULANCE workers in South Yorkshire are to be balloted over strike action in a row over staffing changes.

The Unite union is concerned about plans by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service to introduce assistants with six weeks of training to work with paramedics.

The union said its 450 members had been sent a letter by the trust saying it was no longer prepared to negotiate.

Paramedics and other ambulance staff will be balloted from March 6. A strike would follow on March 18 if members voted to take action.

The dispute is over plans to save £46million over the next five years.

Previously, Yorkshire Ambulance Service said it would cease to recognise Unite for the purposes of collective bargaining, but would continue to work with Unison.