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9 October 2015, 13:05
Ambulance workers in Scotland are to vote on strike action amid complaints of "excessive demands'' on staff.
The GMB union said its members had backed an industrial action ballot over a series of issues including rising levels of stress, complaints that meal breaks are being missed, extra hours and staffing.
The GMB represents around 1,200 staff, including paramedics, control room staff and care assistants.
The union held a consultative ballot, which showed overwhelming support for an official strike vote.
GMB official Mick Conroy said: "We will continue to put pressure on the Scottish Government to increase the funding to the Scottish Ambulance Service.
"In order for the service to move towards our 2020 vision we need a large investment from the Scottish Government to increase staff, and ensure we have enough resources across all grades to prevent the current impact on patients and on terms and conditions and work/life balance continuing.
"If we cannot resolve these ongoing issues within a reasonable timescale we now have authority from members to commence a ballot for action that may include withdrawal of labour working under the laid down legal procedures for strike action taking into consideration current legislation.''
Gary Coll, the union's Scottish Ambulance Service branch convenor, added: "We believe the time has come to protest about the neglect of patients and the ongoing and systematic abuse of staff.
"The job we signed up for has changed dramatically over the years and all grades of staff have come under increasing pressure every year and unfortunately the demands of the general public now far exceeds the needs of the employees.
"Somewhere along the line management and Scottish Government have forgotten that the employees have family commitments, relationships and social needs, that at this time have come under increasing pressure due to overwhelming volumes of work.''