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North ambulance staff vote to start official dispute

North ambulance staff vote to start official dispute

03 March 2017

Unite ambulance members in the north of Scotland have voted to start an official dispute over ongoing concerns about the service being provided to the public. 

Some 95 per cent of members who voted said they had no confidence in the North Divisional management of the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS), and instructed Unite to register a formal dispute. 

Over the last few months, Unite has repeatedly asked the ambulance service to take action on: 

• Ambulances not being available for 999 emergency because they are being used to transfer patients to hospital

• Emergency cover in Aberdeen being propped up by crews being shifted from other areas of the SAS North Division, creating shortage of cover in other rural areas

• Workers consistently working over their scheduled hours 

• Worker fatigue

Unite regional officer Tommy Campbell said: “Every time we have raised these issues, and every time that a serious incident has been reported in the media, the management of the service have come up with words and spin. 

“But our members see these problems every day. They want to deliver a safe, appropriate service to the public across the whole of the north of Scotland, but they have lost confidence in the ability of management to support them.

“We will now raise these concerns through the official disputes procedure. No one involved in patient care wants to take industrial action but our members now demand that the ambulance service management start replacing words with action.

“We will now seek a meeting with the SAS senior management and HR personnel to try and resolve the serious concerns and grievances of our members in order to avoid a potential trades dispute.”

ENDS   

Notes to editors

For further information or to arrange an interview contact Unite Scotland press officer David Eyre on 07960 451631 / david.eyre@unitetheunion.org