Paramedics who are members of the GMB union in the North West have voted to strike in a row over pay.
The union says they have chosen to ballot as a last resort in a dispute they say has been running since 2005.
In the ballot, which closed yesterday, more than 84% of those who responded voted for strike action.
GMB hopes strike action can still be avoided and is urging the North West Ambulance Service to get round the table to resolve this outstanding job evaluation issue.
Mike Buoey, GMB Organiser, said:
“No one wants to take strike action and GMB’s North West paramedics will only do so as a last resort – and with a heavy heart.
“But they’ve come to the end of their tether waiting many years for their job to be re-evaluated for the years between 2005 to 2016.
“NWAS has so far refused to budge – but now our members have voted to strike maybe they will get round the table with a genuine commitment to finding a solution.
“Hopefully industrial action can still be avoided.”
But NWAS say they are being pro-active and have offered a way forward, which has been rejected by GMB.
Michael Forrest, Director of Organisational Development for North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), said: “The trust is disappointed that the GMB have continued with their ballot whilst we are still in talks to resolve the current difficulties with the historic job evaluation for paramedics.
“The trust is continuing to look at positive ways to resolve the matter.
“The process is not being run by the trust but is being managed by a national group who are specialists in the field of NHS job evaluation. The national group is comprised of trade union and management representatives.
“The GMB are fully aware where delays have occurred and the reasons for the delays.
“The trust is absolutely committed to ensure that there is a fair evaluation of the role based on the terms set out by the National Job Evaluation Group.
“We are still in talks with our trade unions which will continue over the coming days.”