[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 7 October 2005, 19:31 GMT 20:31 UK
New offer in ambulance breaks row
A new payment offer has been made to ambulance workers in the north-east of England in an effort to end a long-running dispute over meal breaks.

Workers on Thursday rejected a 1,500 annual payment offer by the North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust to respond to emergency calls during their breaks.

On Friday, the Trust said a new offer of on average 1,830 - a 22% increase on the previous offer - had been made.

The union Unison said it had agreed to recommend this offer to its members.

Since June, North East Ambulance Service paramedics have received unpaid and undisturbed meal breaks.

'Recommend to members'

They said that as a result there had been a number of incidents where crews nearest an emergency had not been contacted but crews had been forced to attend from further away.

Unions said staff wanted to be paid for meal breaks and being on standby.

Dave Armstrong, Unison regional officer, said on Friday: "I think we recognise that the Ambulance Trust has moved a great deal.

"We are happy to recommend the new offer to our members for acceptance."

Simon Featherstone, chief executive of North East Ambulance Service, said: "This issue is too important to leave unresolved for any longer. I feel I need to act quickly and decisively now to try to bring this episode to an end.

"Our first offer was an extremely generous offer and I was bitterly disappointed with the result. This has to end now so that there can be no further concerns from the public and communities in this region about their ambulance service."




SEE ALSO:
Ambulance breaks offer rejected
06 Oct 05 |  England
Talks restart in meal breaks row
24 Aug 05 |  England


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific