Disruptive strike action by thousands of Yorkshire’s ambulance workers has been avoided following emergency talks.

Members of Unison, which represents about three quarters of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) 4,000 strong workforce, had threatened industrial action in a row over changes to breaks and excessive hours.

The trade union’s members said they felt that negotiations had been “exhausted” and vowed to ballot for action last Friday if their lengthy list of demands was not met.

Unison has now revealed that following crunch talks with ambulance chiefs they have withdrawn their threat of action.

Ongoing strike action by fellow union Unite, which has a much smaller membership, continued today with a strike planned in for 3pm to 8pm today (Monday).

Unison said its demands of improved meal break times and a commitment to cut down on excessive end-of-shift overtime had been agreed.

Other concessions by YAS include; an agreement to review the role of the lower skilled Emergency Care Assistant, a review of rural area cover, a promise to protect unsocial hours payments for members who have lost out due to rota changes, and a commitment to boost training.

Threat of large Yorkshire ambulance strike returns  

A Unison Yorkshire Ambulance Branch spokesman said the agreements they had won would have “a positive impact on members working conditions”.

A spokeswoman for YAS, said: “Following further discussions with Unison representatives regarding Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s recent review of A&E operations, the changes have been formally agreed.

“The primary focus of the redesign is introducing changes to shift patterns and improving operational effectiveness so that we continue to provide safe, responsive and high-quality care to patients and look after the welfare of our staff.”

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