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Paramedics to strike weekly after 13-year wage dispute

AMBULANCE paramedics in north-west England are to strike over pay in a dispute stretching back 13 years, their union announced yesterday.

Weekly stoppages are planned from tomorrow until October, said GMB. Strike action begins at 6am and will last until 8am on Sunday morning.

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) began a job re-evaluation in 2005, but that re-evaluation has still not been completed 13 years later.

Four strikes have already been staged following a ballot in which the paramedics voted 84 per cent in favour of action.

Mike Buoey, GMB organiser, said: “This is the last situation our paramedics wanted to find themselves in, but they are desperate for management to listen to their side of the story.

“They’ve been waiting a long time for their job to be re-evaluated for the years between 2005 to 2016.

“After more than 13 years, our members are now saying enough is enough.”

GMB insisted that its paramedics "will strike every single week" until the union is assured NWAS has a genuine commitment to find a resolution.

Public service union Unison and Unite are also pursuing negotiations with NWAS and have agreed to attend a meeting with the trust.

Jeff Gorman, Unison branch secretary at NWAS, said: “We believe that paramedics have not been paid fairly for years and we want this injustice to be addressed as soon as possible.

“We are pressing them to convene a job evaluation panel as soon as possible to get this issue resolved.     

“We will be arguing forcefully that the knowledge, training and experience of paramedics was previously undervalued, and that staff should be entitled to back pay for the years that they were underpaid.”

NWAS Interim Director of Organisational Development Lisa Ward said that the trust is “extremely disappointed” with the action, remarking that while “the impact has been minimal on previous days of action, these extended days do have the potential to cause delays.”

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