Paramedics to join in public sector stikes

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PARAMEDICS will join in next Monday’s public sector strike, it has been announced.

Some workers who are part of the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) will join with nurses, health care assistants and other medical staff are protesting at the Government’s failure to grant a one per cent pay rise.

Union chiefs say staff at the service, which covers Hartlepool and East Durham, will still make every effort to tend to calls where life is in danger.

Unison branch secretary for the NEAS, Joel Byers, said: “Strike action is our last resort but we have to take a stand and this is now our only option. We’ve given the ambulance service exemptions so we are not going to leave the service with no staff. Life-threatening calls will be responded to, however people who are not life-threatening may have to wait a little longer than normal.”

A spokesman for NEAS said: “The unions are in a national dispute with the Government over pay and have recently held ballots across the country where their members have voted in favour of industrial action.

“This is a national dispute, although it will have a disruptive impact on the care of patients and the delivery of ambulance services we provide. We are talking with the unions to understand any exemptions to this industrial action that will minimize the impact of their action on services and ensure that the quality of patient care is not compromised. ”