Ambulance union will ballot its members

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AMBULANCE staff will be asked what action they are willing to take over unfulfilled promises from the secretary of state for health Jeremy Hunt to improve pay and conditions.

Ambulance staff union GMB said workers ‘cannot be expected to keep picking up the slack for government incompetence on promises to invest that they have failed to deliver’.

It will undertake a consultative ballot of members between Friday and Wednesday, May 25.

Rehana Azam, GMB national officer for the NHS, said: ‘An overworked, underpaid and overstretched ambulance workforce cannot be expected to keep responding to 999 emergency calls, whilst their government sits back and does nothing.’

In 2015, Mr Hunt agreed to review of the banding system which recognises the skill 
set of ambulance staff, although this has not happened.

GMB is asking for ‘fair pay, a safe and sensible retirement age, proper training and improved development and career progression for ambulance drivers.’

Its figures show that 30 per cent of life or death calls are not responded to within eight minutes.

South Central Ambulance Service did not comment when approached by The News.