Up to 15,000 emergency doctors, ambulance drivers and employees in emergency call centers took to the streets. They demand higher wages and better working conditions
For the third time in a few weeks, rescue workers in England and Wales walked out on Monday. Up to 15,000 emergency doctors, ambulance drivers and employees of emergency call centers are on strike for higher wages and better working conditions.
In addition, around 5,000 workers from clinics in Liverpool are on strike. However, acute emergencies should be treated. The UK’s NHS health service is chronically underfunded and understaffed.
Millions of people are waiting for routine procedures, patients are waiting much longer than expected for ambulances. The solution to the growing NHS crisis is obvious, said Unison union secretary-general Christina McAnea. “It’s simple: all the Treasury Secretary has to do is find money to pay healthcare workers fairly.”
Higher wages would prevent brain drain and attract new employees, McAnea said. More staff would in turn lead to shorter waiting times for emergency services and patients. “All would be winners,” said the Unison boss.
The trade unions point to high real wage losses in recent years. They are therefore demanding an increase that is well above the inflation rate of just over ten percent recently. The government, on the other hand, relies on the proposal of a wage commission to pay 4.5 percent more. She rejects talks about stronger increases.