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Union claims victory as ambulance strike halted.

Byline: Nick Lavigueur Health Reporter nick@examiner.co.uk

AMBULANCE workers have claimed victory and called off bank holiday strike action after bosses backed down.

Unison's 1,500 A&E members at Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) had planned a six-hour walk-out on Sunday in a row about changes to working conditions.

The union said YAS had backtracked on policies agreed with the union earlier in the year on meal breaks, end-of-shift overtime, the use of private ambulances and a five-year workforce plan.

But yesterday the union con-firmed it had suspended the industrial action after YAS management agreed to its demands. A Unison spokesperson said: "Unison Yorkshire Ambulance Branch can confirm that the employers have agreed to revert back to all policies within the workforce plan, A&E operational redesign and any policies subsequently agreed with Unison.

"Even though this is a victory for Unison, the branch committee wish to make it clear to members that Unison has only suspended the industrial action.

"This is due to the lack of trust that members have in management due to their recent history of not abiding by agreements.

"This is a massive victory for Unison members.

Not only has it shown how high the strength of feeling amongst them is, it has also been a massive wake up call to managers showing that Unison members have had enough, that they are not willing to be pushed around anymore."

Unison said it had raised concerns around rotas, career progression, annual leave, and overtime levels and YAS management had also agreed the use of private St John's Ambulances would cease.

Ian Brandwood, Executive Director of People and Engagement at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: "We do not feel that industrial action will help us respond to the challenges we face and following extensive discussions with Unison we are pleased to report that they have agreed to withdraw their planned action.

"We remain committed to continuing to work with Unison to address some of the concerns raised and our focus, as always, remains on the well-being of our staff whilst continuing to provide high levels of patient care."

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Aug 20, 2014
Words:362
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