Update: Talks offered to avert ambulance staff walkout

Union representatives have offered to meet Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) bosses this weekend in a bid to avert strike action.

Tuesday, 26th March 2013, 1:00 pm
STRIKE VOTE Yorkshire Ambulance Service paramedics and staff are due to take part in a one-day strike after their union was derecognised.

Ambulance workers voted earlier this month in favour of holding a one-day strike on Tuesday April 2 in a dispute over cost-cutting plans and the derecognition of their union, Unite.

Around 450 paramedics and staff at YAS also voted in favour of a continuous overtime ban which began on Tuesday morning.

Unite had criticised YAS for derecognising the union after its members raised concerns that plans to save £46m over the next five years could threaten patient safety.

But the union has offered to hold talks with management at any time over Easter weekend.

Unite regional officer Terry Cunliffe said: “We are very conscious that the public in Yorkshire wants to see this dispute settled and we also want a resolution, but not at the expense of patient safety.

“To achieve this means addressing the underlying issues which are the derecognition of Unite and discussing the workforce plan.”

YAS has previously assured the public that there are plans in place to avoid any disruption if the strike goes ahead.

It says changes being made to its A&E workforce will allow it to continue to deliver a high quality and responsive service to patients.