Planned strike by ambulance workers in Wales suspended amid new offer

A planned strike by GMB ambulance workers in Wales has been suspended after a new offer aimed at resolving a pay dispute, the union has announced.

Members of the GMB were due to walk out in Wales and England on Monday alongside members of other unions.

The GMB said its action has been suspended to allow further negotiations with the Welsh Government.

The union said the proposed deal amounts to both a consolidated and non-consolidated one-off payment for 22/23 – on top of an increase of 4.5% which has already been paid.

GMB official Nathan Holman said: “After intense negotiations, GMB has agreed to suspend strike action while further talks take place.

“We recognise that the Welsh Government and Welsh Ambulance have made concessions and, through social partnership, we appreciate the frank and open dialogue with them over the last few months.

“This has only been made possible because the Welsh Government has been prepared to talk about pay – a lesson for those in charge on the other side of the Severn Bridge.

“We are a member-led union, ultimately they will decide.”

A planned strike on Tuesday by physiotherapists in Wales is also on hold, after further progress was made in talks with the Welsh Government, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) announced.

There had been a breakthrough in talks which will continue next week to finalise an offer that can be put to members in an online vote, said the society.

The new offer includes a further 3% on top of the £1,400 given to all staff, 1.5% of which would be consolidated, it added.

Adam Morgan, the CSP’s senior negotiating officer for Wales, said: “The Welsh Government did what we asked them to and came to the table for meaningful talks.

“This has led to the outline of a new offer and, in turn, the pausing of our strikes.

“We feel it is important to return the good faith shown by the Government and allow time for negotiations to continue.

“As soon as we have an offer we can put to members, we will do that through a full consultation process.”

Elaine Sparkes, assistant director of employment relations at the CSP, called on the Government in Westminster to follow its counterparts in Cardiff and Edinburgh ahead of strikes also planned in England next week.

“We’ve shown first in Scotland and now in Wales that we are committed to finding a solution through negotiations that are conducted in good faith,’ she said.

“‘It is inexplicable that with 88,000 appointments already cancelled due to strikes in England, the Government is willing to just stand by and let four days of strikes take place without any attempt to prevent that happening.

“Our message remains the same, talk to us and avert these strikes.”