GMB hold consultative ballot for members at South Western Ambulance Service Trust
GMB to ballot members at South Western Ambulance Service Trust over failures to address on-going issues around annual leave, rota, and pay banding issues. “SWAST’s continual refusal to recognise GMB as the alternative union of choice for staff at the Trust leaves our members with a trade dispute and no option other than to consider potential strike action,” says GMB Southern
GMB, the union for ambulance paramedics and professionals, has informed South Western Ambulance Service Trust (SWAST) Chief Executive Ken Wenman that they will be undertaking a consultative ballot.
The ballot comes in light of both his and the Trust’s refusal to address on-going staff concerns around annual leave refusals, unfair and inconsistent rotas, constant overruns and pay banding issue throughout the Trust.
The Trust is refusing to negotiate and discuss matters on behalf of GMB members. This is based on the Chief Exec’s position of rejecting any direct dialogue with GMB with regard to the union not currently being recognised by the Trust.
The ballot which opens on Monday 26th March and closes on Friday 13th April is the final step of the GMB internal process before, should members support doing so, moving on to the required independent full industrial action ballot.
Gary Palmer GMB Regional Organiser says: "SWAST’s continual refusal to recognise GMB as the alternative union of choice for staff at the Trust leaves GMB members with a trade dispute and no option other than to consider potential strike action.
"Not only has Mr Wenman refused to deal with us, but he has allowed misrepresentation of having engaged with us to both his board and the public. He has claimed to have attempted to engage and set up regular meetings with the GMB.
"If Mr Wenman and the Trust had spent as much effort in trying to look after his staff, and our members as he is in trying to avoid the GMB Union, this might have been settled by now, but he hasn’t. Our members have had enough and they now have the choice, through the consultative ballot, if they wish to instruct us to escalate matters industrially.
"By voting on the possibility of strike action, to simply gain support and understanding from their employer and its Chief Exec on issues which affect their work life balance, health and well-being at work, says more about SWAST and Mr Wenman as a disinterested employer then it does about GMB members wanting to sit down to resolve these on-going issues with the union of their choice.
"Although it wouldn’t halt the current consultative ballot, we of course always remain ready to finally meet with the Trust, with GMB reps in attendance, to try to resolve matters amicably. But we will not just supply information and then give up GMB member’s rights to any third party who our members feel have too cosy a relationship with the employer in the first place.
"Deal with us inside the organisation like any other ambulance trust has professionally managed to do or we’ll bang on the windows and doors from the street and air our issues in public. It’s Mr Wenman’s choice.
Contact: Gary Palmer 07552 165 950 or GMB Press Office 07970 114 762
Notes to Editors
Previous GMB Press Releases:
GMB members at South West Ambulance Service open letter calling for Chief Executive to quit (20 November 2017) https://www.gmb-southern.org.uk/news/gmb-members-at-south-west-ambulance-service-open-letter-calling-for-chief-executive-to-quit
Hard pressed GMB members at South West Ambulance Service seek talks on work-life balance and holidays (26 September 2017) https://www.gmb-southern.org.uk/news/hard-pressed-gmb-members-at-south-west-ambulance-service-seek-talks-on-work-life-balance-and-holidays