General secretary Dave Prentis joined Welsh ambulance staff and officials on Monday for the launch of the union’s new ambulance branch covering the entire country.
The three former UNISON branches at the Wales Ambulance Services NHS Trust have merged, which means that wherever they are in Wales, both UNISON ambulance members and the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST) will have one point of contact with UNISON, which is the largest union at WAST.
Recent changes in the way that WAST is organised convinced UNISON that it would help improve its dealings with members and senior managers at the trust, if it too adapted. By re-organising the 1,200 members from its three ambulance branches into one, UNISON believes that it is now in a good position to help transform WAST into an outstanding public service.
Welsh deputy minister for health Vaughan Gething AM sent his support ahead of the launch, and Claire Vaughan, the associate director of Wales Ambulance Services NHS Trust spoke at the ceremony, at Parc Dewi Sant, Carmarthen.
Mr Prentis said: “UNISON is the leading ambulance union in Wales, and our members’ dedication to public service is inspirational. I am very pleased to formally launch the new all-Wales ambulance branch.”
UNISON ambulance spokesperson in Wales, Darron Dupre, said: “Our brilliant frontline emergency medical response members are saving lives every day. We want to work with WAST leadership to create a world-class ambulance service and this single branch is a huge step forward for us all.”
The new branch secretary, Kath Charters, is the UK UNISON ambulance rep of the year.