On Saturday 1st February, Unite members in the Yorkshire Ambulance Service took part in a further 24 hour strike as part of their long-running dispute. Unite members outside the Wakefield depot remained determined in their fight to force the trust to re-recognise the union and stop the savage cuts which are currently taking place. Meanwhile, more Unison members, frustrated at the unions continued inaction in opposing the cuts, the latest being attacks on lunch breaks, are going over to Unite.
Terry Cunliffe, Unite Regional Officer, spoke to an NSSN supporter:
“My understanding of the position of Unison is that regionally they have supported for the last twelve months Unite’s campaign for re-recognition. I have to say the local branch are not following that mandate and in fact have spoken openly, hostilely about the re-recognition of Unite. They don’t support us in the way that they promised at the TUC, the local branch activists are actively against our re-recognition.
“Unison have gone round the stations supporting the management plan, they have balloted their members and I have heard them, speaking about their ballot result. 70% of their members don’t agree with their branch position, rejecting the management proposal. As far as I am concerned, this completely vindicates the decision that we made to campaign and fight against these cuts. They are dangerous to patients and dangerous to our members, and Unison members feel the same. I’m hoping the Unison branch take that mandate and join the fight against these cuts.”
A further 4 hour strike will is taking place on Monday 3rd February to mark a year since the union was de-recognised by the former Trust chief executive.