Yorkshire ambulance staff have announced a new double strike in a long-running patient safety dispute.
Members of Unite are set to walk out just a week after fellow union Unison called off industrial action.
Unite has about 400 members at Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) compared to Unison’s 3,000.
Unite members have held a series of strikes over the past 20 months in an increasingly bitter row with YAS chiefs.
They have now said they will follow up action in early July with strikes on Friday and next Tuesday (September 2) from 3pm to 9pm each day.
Unite regional officer, Terry Cunliffe, said YAS chiefs had repeatedly snubbed the union’s attempts during the summer to hold constructive talks.
He said: “The trust’s chief executive David Whiting continues to play hard ball with his employees and has snubbed every genuine attempt by Unite to engage in positive talks for the benefit of the Yorkshire public.
“Our members firmly believe that the public deserve a first-class, fully resourced ambulance service – and, as they have shown on a number of occasions since April 2013, they have been prepared to strike to strongly make that case.
“We have been buoyed up by the support we have received from Yorkshire people – and we thank them for that.
“Unite’s door is open for talks under the auspices of Acas at any time.”
Unite said the “crux of the dispute” was the introduction of elongated shift patterns and claimed it was “only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed as a result of staff exhaustion”.
The dispute started when the bosses withdrew recognition from Unite as a union representing staff, after the union raised concerns about patient safety at the start of 2013.
Ian Brandwood, Executive Director of HR at the Trust, said: “We remain disappointed that Unite the Union has decided to continue with yet more strike
“Once again the industrial action will take place without any concessions for the most seriously ill and injured patients and we remain concerned over this type of action.
“We would like to reassure members of the public that we have robust contingency plans in place. We continue to focus on safeguarding patient care and are committed to minimising the level of disruption to our services.
“Throughout the period of industrial action we will be taking steps to maintain operational cover to sustain effective and safe services for our patients who find themselves needing emergency medical assistance.
“We will continue to make every effort to get to patients as quickly as possible, whilst maintaining high standards of patient care.
“We would appreciate the co-operation of the general public and would, once again, like to remind people to use our services wisely. Please only call 999 for an ambulance when someone has a life-threatening or serious illness or injury.
“Anyone requiring advice or treatment for a non-emergency situation or minor ailment should consider options such as
self-care, a visit to a local pharmacist, contacting the NHS 111 urgent care service or their GP, visiting a walk-in centre or minor injuries unit.”
To find your nearest non-emergency service, click here or call 111.