As we enter into what is our fifth day of action the support of all members and the public remains resolute.
The UK government are still not listening despite improved offer in both Wales and Scotland.
They instead are forcing through legislation to make it illegal for us to take action as an emergency service.
Strange they now class us as such when in the past they have said “ the specific characteristics of the roles of police, fire and armed forces mean they should be allowed to retire at 60” but not us we must now, since 2022, work to NRA or until we drop.
Meaning that 74% of us will retire early on health grounds compared with a figure of 42% for the rest of the NHS.
For that privilege of working longer we now pay more into our pensions but receive less.
They have also attacked our unsocial hours pay by forcing staff into “section 2” contracts which sees most staff losing money when taking leave or off sick.
The final straw that has lead to this dispute is the well below inflation pay imposed on us this year that means our real terms pay has now dropped 17% at a time when energy price and mortgage payments are becoming increasingly difficult to manage, but their profits are soaring.
We are in a battle now to make them listen, so far our fight has had the effect of improving ambulance response times so we need to do more to get a response from this government.
Non of us want to be on street me or do anything that may harm our patients but that responsibility lies firmly with the Secretary of State for health who last met with the trade unions on the 9th Jan and has buried his head in the sand ever since.
We really hope his stance changes and he becomes more willing to talk pay as we are not prepared to back down from this campaign for what is right.
GMB union branch secretary
NWAS Staff side chair