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Merseyside Ambulance Staff in Second 24hr Strike

Revol | 17.07.2006 14:06 | Health | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | Liverpool

Ambulance workers across Merseyside and Cheshire are preparing for a second 24 hour strike in a dispute over pay. Technicians, who assist paramedics in ambulances, began a series of three walkouts last Thursday after the collapse of talks with their bosses.

As previously reported on Liverpool Indymedia, the dispute began when the employers double-crossed workers over a pay review they said would be 'binding on all parties'. When the review gave them the 'wrong' answer, the employers used a range of spoiling tactics in an attempt to enforce lower rates for ambulance technicians.

The Ambulance Service Union called the walk-out after a ballot of its 200 members.

It means employers will again have to rely on help from managers and paramedic trainers, along with volunteers from St John's Ambulance and staff from elsewhere in the North West, to maintain ambulance services to the public.

The ASU fears technicians will be placed in Band 4, on a salary of £19,000 each, a cut for some as they currently earn anywhere between £19,000 and £21,070.

The union wants to see them placed at the bottom of Band 5, on £21,118, with a full 25% un-social hours bonus. If they are placed on Band 4, their overall rise would effectively work out at a total 14% including the un-social hours bonus, for those who qualify for the full amount.

Ambulance service union bosses meet their members in Liverpool tomorrow morning to get feedback about the strike but say they are pleased with the response so far.

One further strike action on Sunday 23rd July is still being considered.

It is the first time ambulance staff have been on strike in Merseyside for more than 20 years.

Ambulance workers don't take strike action lightly, knowing how important their jobs are to the welfare of the general public. However, it is precisely because they serve us all so well that we should support them against their employers' dodgy dealings.



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  1. it takes a millitant stance sometimes — mike