PLANNED strikes by ambulance staff have been suspended after the GMB and other unions agreed to talks with the Government.
Following several months of industrial action, the Health Secretary Steve Barclay wrote to unions after plans were announced to reduce emergency cover on strike days.
The Department of Health and Social Care has now agreed to discuss pay for both this year and next year as well improvements to other terms and conditions.
Unions say they have also received assurances there is additional cash for both years above existing budgets and that any deal would respect the existing Agenda for Change structure.
In return, national ambulance strikes today and on Wednesday involving more than 13,000 workers have now been suspended.
Rachel Harrison, GMB National Secretary, said: ‘GMB ambulance workers announced a tightening of the derogations for cover on strike days.
‘Less than 24 hours later we received a letter from the Secretary of State for Health, Steve Barclay, inviting us and other unions to pay talks.
‘This is a huge shift from the Government, who for months have refused to consider negotiations on pay.
‘Now, they are saying they are willing to sit down and talk.
‘The Government has given assurances of additional cash for both years above existing budgets and that any deal will respect the existing Agenda for Change structure.’
It is understood the negotiations will proceed on the understanding the government will discuss a one-off cost-of-living payment for the current financial year, which ends in April, as well as a brand new pay deal for 2023-24.