Members of Unite, employed in ambulance trusts in England, will go ahead with strike action next week (Monday and Wednesday) after members refused to accept the government’s unreasonable pre-conditions primarily an acceptance of a non-consolidated lump sum for 2022/23 as this does not deal with the issues.


The strikes next week marks an escalation in the dispute with an increased number of Unite members at more ambulance trusts taking strike action. This reflects the growing anger among Unite members whose action is about year on year pay cuts and unsafe staffing levels.

Unite rejected the government’s offer of pay talks due to the unreasonable pre-conditions that unions were required to agree to in order for talks to take place. These included:

  • That the ‘solution’ to a pay increase for 2022/23 will be a lump sum payment and not a permanent pay rise and therefore inferior to the deals being proposed in Scotland and Wales
  • The government’s insistence that “productivity” and “efficiency” savings were included in the talks, when the real issue is the urgent need for a pay deal which halts the exodus of staff not further demands on staff currently employed
  • The suspension of all industrial action.

Unreasonable pre-conditions

Unite Executive Head of Operations, Gail Cartmail, said: “The government has said for months that it cannot negotiate and then when suddenly it is prepared to, it lists a series of totally unreasonable pre-conditions for starting talks. This isn’t a negotiation it’s an ultimatum.

 The decision to go ahead with the strike action was unanimous and made by Unite lay representatives from the ambulance trusts involved in the dispute.

Morale at rock bottom

Unite national lead officer Onay Kasab said:. The NHS is on its knees and morale is at rock bottom, yet the government somehow thinks that after weeks of strike action for a better deal, workers will meekly sign up to talks that  will not tackle the issue of a decent pay settlement for 2022/23. 


Notes to editors

Ambulance staff in the following ambulance trusts will take strike action on Monday 6 March: West Midlands, North West, South Central, South Coastal, and East Midlands. It will be the first time that Unite members in South Central and South Coastal have taken strike action. Unite will also be taking action in East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust on this day.

Unite members in Yorkshire, who are also striking for the first time, will take industrial action on Wednesday 8 March.

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.