NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Ambulance rest break deal offer rejected by GMB members

Mandy Mathieson
Image caption Mandy Mathieson died in October last year

Ambulance workers in the GMB union have voted to reject a deal proposed by management to try to resolve the ongoing dispute over rest breaks.

The death of Moray woman Mandy Mathieson last year brought a row over breaks to wider public attention.

An ambulance technician stationed close to her home did not have to respond to a call that she needed help because he was on a break.

Unions recommended the deal but GMB members rejected it in a ballot.

Last month, unions Unite, Unison and GMB said they would all ballot their members with a recommendation to accept the revised offer from the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS).

Following the GMB ballot, a Scottish government spokesperson said: "This is disappointing but we are hopeful other balloted staff members will accept this very fair proposal from management.

"We will await the further ballot results due later in September."

An SAS spokesman said: "Once responses have been received from all three unions later this month, we will consider the most appropriate course of action in the interests of patient care."

Unions and management have been trying to find a solution to the issue ever since Ms Mathieson, from Tomintoul, died in October last year.

An ambulance crew based 21 minutes away in Grantown-on-Spey responded to the call because a local ambulance technician was on a meal break.

An air ambulance was also scrambled from Inverness.

Ms Mathieson, who was 33, died, having suffered a blood clot.

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