Yorkshire paramedics and ambulance workers are being balloted for a strike over a pay offer their union claimed left them worried about feeding their families.
The GMB Union is set to ballot Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) workers for strikes after more than 90 per cent of them backed walkouts in an indicative poll.
GMB Organiser Deanne Ferguson said it came as the service was crumbling while many staff were angry and worried over the four per cent pay rise offered this year.
A YAS spokesperson said the service was monitoring the situation closely to ensure patients would be cared for.
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The GMB claimed a consultative ballot, in which workers took part, was the largest mandate to strike in the service’s history.
It comes as junior doctors in the British Medical Association (BMA) and members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) are also being balloted for strikes over pay.
Meanwhile, rail workers in the RMT and ASLEF unions, and postal staff with the CWU, are due to walk out on Saturday, October 1.
Those ballots follow a wave of industrial action this year, from rail workers to postal staff, bin collectors and barristers. The walkouts have been spurred on by record rates of inflation, which reached 10.1 per cent in July, the highest level in 40 years, dropping to 9.9 in August.
YAS employs more than 7,200 staff, around 1,500 of whom are in the GMB. The service covers an area of almost 6,000sq miles, and runs NHS 111 for those areas and for North and North East Lincolnshire.
Ms Ferguson said ambulance workers should not be worrying about heating their homes and feeding their families while carrying out crucial services.
The union organiser said: “The service is crumbling, and it is having an impact on everyone – it is only surviving because of the amazing workers holding it together, through goodwill.
“GMB members have had enough, they are angry – and that’s why they want to move to a formal ballot for strike action.
“They’ve made history with their turnout and vote. GMB Union will stand shoulder to shoulder with our members as we fight for an above inflation pay rise for our NHS heroes.”
The spokesperson for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust said: “We recognise that staff have the right to voice their concerns in this way, and we are monitoring the situation closely to ensure we continue to provide safe and responsive care for our patients.”