AN ambulance mechanic received his redundancy notice - days before Christmas.
The 43-year-old vehicle technician, who works for Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS), was stunned when he picked up the letter announcing he would lose his job on March 31.
The mechanic, who has worked for the ambulance service for eight years, is one of 400 staff facing the sack as part of the service's restructuring exercise.
It follows the merger last July of West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire services with the North and East Yorkshire portions of the Tees, East and North Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
The 43-year-old technician, from Marsh, said:
"We don't know what's going on or if we're going to be offered other jobs. It's just mad. I don't think they know which direction they're going in. I wasn't expecting it.
"I'm just going to have to look for another vehicle maintenance job and I was settled there.
"It's upheaval for everything, including my pension. I've got a family to support and a mortgage to pay off as well as rates and council tax. It's a joke."
YAS acting chief executive Simon Worthington said he hoped compulsory redundancies would be kept to a minimum. The letter to staff explained the next steps in the Trust's restructuring.
"To put in place a 'best in class' service in first-line and emergency care for people in Yorkshire and to meet the targets set by the Government, YAS has to ensure it has the appropriate organisational and staffing structure in place.
"To this end, it has reviewed all non-frontline services and will make a number of changes to deliver a more efficient service.
"In line with these changes, this letter gives staff formal notice of redundancy if they don't secure employment with YAS, or elsewhere, by 31 March 2007."
Unions have condemned the move.
Neil Derrick, senior GMB officer, said: "We utterly condemn the timing and the content of the directive from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, which put essential backroom staff at risk days before Christmas without any consultation or discussions with the unions."
A spokeswoman for Unison said: "This is an outrageous thing to do just five days before Christmas. It is cruel to do this to staff and disgraceful that managers have not had the decency to talk to unions."