It is not the fault of ambulance unions if patients die during nationwide strikes on Wednesday, one union boss has said.
Christina McAnea, the general secretary of Unison, said that is is “absolutely the Government’s” fault and accused them of being “totally irresponsible”.
“The only time they called me in for a meeting was today, the day before the strike,” she told TalkTV on Tuesday evening.
“It’s completely irresponsible of them to refuse to open any kind of discussions or negotiations with us.”
Unison, along with the GMB and Unite unions, voted for strike action over the Government’s four per cent pay offer amid soaring inflation, which currently stands at just under 11 per cent.
Around 25,000 staff are due to go on strike on Wednesday in a dispute over pay, with 10 of 11 trusts in England and Wales affected.
Ms McAnea suggested that strikes could be averted by an offer of a one-off pay bonus, saying: “We’d listen to that, we’d listen to any offer from the Government.
“We are happy to discuss any options with them. I’m not putting a figure on it, we are not putting a limit on it and saying it has to be this. We are open to negotiations.”
She suggested that any further strikes after the next one due on Dec 28 could include 999 call handlers, who are not walking out on Wednesday.
“We are the biggest ambulance union,” she said. “We are bringing out the road crews, so that’s the people who are out in the ambulances – the paramedics, the technicians, the specialist paramedics who go out to deal with specific issues – they are the ones on strike.
“What we haven’t done is bring out control room staff, so the people who deal with 999 calls will still be working. They will be incredibly busy because they will be the ones triagingIt is not the fault of ambulance unions if patients die during nationwide strikes on Wednesday, one union boss has said. Christina McAnea, the general secretary of Unison, said that is is "absolutely the Government's" fault and accused them of being "totally irresponsible". Around 25,000 staff are due to go on strike on Wednesday in a dispute over pay, with 10 of 11 trusts in England and Wales affected.