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NHS Scotland & Scottish Ambulance Service Strike Ballot Result

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

NHS staff back strikes in Scotland’s ambulance services and biggest health boards 

GMB Scotland members across the Scottish Ambulance Service and in Greater Glasgow & Clyde Health Board have today (Tuesday 1 November) overwhelmingly supported and secured statutory mandates for strikes in their fight to secure an improved pay offer.

It follows a month-long ballot of the union’s 8,000 members across NHS Scotland and associated services as the dispute between staff unions and the Scottish Government over the 2022/23 pay offer continues without resolution.

89 per cent of GMB members in the ambulance service who participated in the ballot backed strikes, along with 98 per cent of members in Greater Glasgow & Clyde Health Board, 97 per cent in Lanarkshire, 94 per cent in Forth Valley, and 88 percent in Lothian (see Notes to Editors for all services with statutory strike mandates).

It means that nearly 4,000 GMB members, including paramedics, technicians, nurses, porters, domestics, and radiographers, across eligible health boards and services have a legal mandate to participate in strike action.

GMB Scotland Organiser Karen Leonard said:

“This a direct response from our members to the government that more must be done to properly value NHS workers and the services they deliver, not just to confront the cost-of-living crisis this winter, but also to tackle the understaffing crisis in our frontline services that’s left staff utterly exhausted and increasingly angry.

“The understaffing crisis in particular has been understood for years and left unchallenged, only for COVID-19 to expose and exacerbate the chronic shortfalls in staffing levels, and no one should be any doubt the only way we can recruit and retain the people needed to kick-start a recovery is to value staff better.

“There should be no surprise in government circles about this clear mandate delivered by our members; their strike threat is the inevitable consequence of years of austerity and managed decline in our NHS by political leaders and the unsustainable pressures this has placed on a workforce that everyone depends on.

“But this is also an opportunity for Humza Yousaf to listen to the workers’ voice and bring forward the significantly improved offer that he promised just a few weeks ago, otherwise the country faces the real prospect of strike actions this winter across NHS Scotland and the ambulance service.” 


Contact: GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077 or email

Notes to Editors:

Statutory mandates for strike action have been secured by GMB members in the following health boards and services: Scottish Ambulance Service, Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Lothian, Forth Valley, Borders, Western Isles, ISS Mediclean UK (Hairmyres Hospital), Golden Jubilee University Hospital, Health Care Improvement Scotland, Education Scotland.