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Funding crisis forces ambulance staff to strike

Date of Release: 
Monday, October 17, 2016

Over 1000 Ambulance officers across New Zealand have issued a 14 day notice of industrial action at St John Ambulance.  

The strike comes after an attempt by St John to squeeze more out of already stretched front-line staff.Ambulance Professionals First co-ordinator Lynette Blacklaws said the strike is for the safety of staff and their patients. 

“Taking a stand is the most responsible thing we can do.”

”We are seeking solutions to issues that cause dangerous fatigue such as not receiving rest and meal breaks coupled with an increased workload”.

The notice comes on the eve of the Junior Doctors’ strike with St John staff expressing similar concerns around fatigue and understaffing.

The industrial action includes a ban on paperwork, disrupting St John’s ability to invoice patients. However, ambulance officers will continue to respond to call-outs.

“We are not directing our action at patients; we’re doing this for their safety.  Paramedics will continue to serve their communities and patients, but they’ll be doing it while underfunded and exhausted,” said Blacklaws.

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