#PutNHSpayright – all the news with our rolling report

Check back throughout the day to see what’s happening around the regions as strikes begin across the ambulance service in England

Christina McAnea with pickets in York – including a baby

20:00 pm And we’ll finish today’s rolling report with a picture of Christina in Yorkshire today, telling the media a bit of reality.

Christina picket line

16:45pm Senior national officer Helga Pile joined pickets at Chase Farm – and kept warm in the traditional way.

Senior national officer Helga Piule at Chase Farm

Pickets at Chase Farm, Barnet

17:55pm A few more photos from Nigel Goldsmith, who visited picket lines in Bristol for us today – and do check back in the coming days, because there will be many more from Nigel and other photographers.

Bristol picket

Bristol picket

Bristol picket

17:45pm ‘I can restart your heart….’ Our members in Friern Barnet in London have nailed it.

17:00pm  ‘Finally the rain has stopped – we’re still going though’. Wilma Brown, chair of the health service group executive, from Chester-le-Street in the north east.

15:50pm Some shots from the Northern Region – from the top, Ashington, two from picket at Pallion, Sunderland, Peterlee and two from Redcar.

Picket in Ashington

picket at Pallion, Sunderland

pickets at Pallion, Sunderland

Picket at Peterlee

Pickets at Redcar

Two pickets at Redcar

15:10pm And continuing a theme …

14:55pm Members in Yorkshire leaving the picket line to head to an emergency.

14:50pm A couple from Deptford – the top open was taken when head of health Sara Gorton visited – plus one from Newham (isn’t that purple hair great?) and finally in this batch, assistant general secretary Liz Snape joined the picket in Islington – with yet another cute little dog.

Deptford picket with Sara Gorton

Deptford picket

Purple haired striker in Newham

Islington with Liz Snape

14:15pm Christina McAnea and, who knows, a union activist of the future, at York ambulance picket.

14:05pm We shared some messages of support for strikers this morning, but here is another selection.

Janice told us: “The work you do is essential, highly skilled and definitely worth more.  Thank you for all you do.  All my family support your cause.  You, like everyone, have a right to strike”.

Sandra in the North East said: “I support you all as you all are hard working in a stressful environment and deserve a decent pay rise and you like the nurses have to carry on till you get what you deserve”.

From Scotland, Bimla sent this message: “I am fully support your strike – good wishes for all of you”.

Margaret from London said: “All the best in your industrial action. Hopefully you’ll be successful. A lot of the country are behind you. ❣”

Barrie from Yorkshire sent this message: Full backing for the difficult situation and last resort of this action.  I know it will fall heavy on people’s minds. You are amazing guys, simply the best and a credit to the NHS.

“It’s a shame and pretty sad, but also a national disgrace, that this action had to be taken. This Tory goverment are out of touch with ordinary people and their wishes.

“The public are with you guys! They fully understood your plight & support you all the way, so good luck to you all!
Remember the public support NHS workers – God bless you all.”

13:45pm Here are some photos from various sites in the North West Ambulance Service – including the youngest picket seen thus far!

North West ambulance picket with small baby

North West Ambulance Service pickets with an ad van

Two North West Ambulance Service pickets with bright umbrellas and a placard, by a road

13:25pm There must be proper funding for hospitals, this paramedic says.

13:15pm UNISON head of health Sara Gorton.

12:25pm A couple of great shots from photographer Nigel Goldsmith from the pickets lines at Croydon Street and Sandwell in Bristol this morning.

Picket at Bristol Croydon Road in Bristol

Picket at Sandwell, Bristol

12:20pm ‘We think it’s so important for the future of the NHS’. Listen to this fabulous support from the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign:

12:15pm It was an early start for pickets in Gateshead today.

12:10pm And back up to Sheffield, with Christina McAnea.

12:05pm Here’s head of health Sara Gorton addressing the media at the Waterloo picket this morning.

12pm Highlighting our members in patient transport services.

11:55am Read why UNISON is joining other health unions in announcing that it won’t be submitting joint evidence to the NHS pay review body for the next wage round while the current industrial disputes remain unresolved.


11:50am And let’s take our first trip of the day to the South West for pictures from around the region, with (from top) Bridgewater, Shaftsbury. Ilminster and Yeovil – and including a lovely pair of canine pickets in Nelly and Buddy.

Dogs on a picket line in the South West

Picket line in Ilminster with an ambulance behind

Picket line at Shaftsbury

Picket line at Yeovil

11:40am Messages of support for UNISON members taking strike action today have been coming in in their hundreds. Here’s just a small sample.

John in Scotland said: “Stick in there! We’re all behind you. You all deserve at least the inflation rate rise to keep up with rising cost of almost everything. All the best”.

Vania in Yorkshire commented: “How long can this government expect health workers to operate on a goodwill basis? When dedicated professionals take the decision to strike, they must be listened to”.

Barbara in the Midlands had this to say: “I’m with you all the way! It’s a disgrace that you are in such a situation – the government should be ashamed of themselves. You are valued and you deserve to be recognised for your work, not penalised”.

And from Manchester, Philip had these words of support: “You do an amazing job helping sick and needy people. You face so much hardship and stress in your job, but you continue to perform miracles.

“You deserve to be recognised financially for all the hard work that you put in. I support you.”

Tricia in Hertfordshire noted: “Wishing you lots of luck with the strike action this month – my family and I are all fully supportive. Thank you for doing this (and of course for the brilliant service you provide)”.

11:35am And sharing a cuppa with strikers.

11:25am UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea speaking on the picket line in Sheffield.

11:25am UNISON head of health Sara Gorton has been talking to the media when she attended the picket at Waterloo in London this morning.

Sara Gorton addressing the media at the ambulance strike picket at Waterloo

And two shots from Newham, where strikers – including call handlers – were joined by an ad van that’s spreading the message.

Strikers at Waterloo with an ad van

Waterloo pickets with an ad van behind them

11:10am We’re honoured and humbled today to have received a message of support from the Federation of Trade Unions (FPU) of Ukraine even as the war against that nation continues.

FPU president Grygorii Osovyi wrote, in solidarity: “To the unions and ambulance workers of the National Health Service.

“The Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine sends greetings of solidarity to the unions and ambulance workers of the National Health Service on the day of strike action on 11 January.

“We declare our full support for your struggle for fair pay and safe working conditions, against the government’s austerity policy aimed at further pay cut.

“We wish success in the struggle to all workers who will take part in the action on 11 January and support your key demands.”

10:50am Here are five ways to support UNISON members who are taking strike action today.

Five ways to support our NHS strikers

10:30am “UNISON is 100% behind every ambulance worker striking today. #PutNHSPayRight.”

10:30am“The government’s new legislation is just another distraction from their inability to run the NHS,” Christina McAnea told BBC Radio 4 Today earlier this morning.

10:25amChristina McAnea is in Yorkshire today, visiting pickets at a number of sites – her first port of call was at Longley Ambulance Station in Sheffield.

Christina McAnea at Longley Ambulance Station in Sheffield, with a UNISON flag, talking to members who are on picket duty

10:15am BBC Breakfast also had assistant general secretary Jon Richards on the sofa this morning to talk about the strikes and what’s happening in the NHS.

10:10am BBC Breakfast has been out on the picket lines this morning to talk to our members.

08:20am In response to government plans to introduce minimum cover regulations for strikes, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea told the BBC that during the strike in December, staff didn’t hesitate to leave picket lines when someone’s life was in danger”.

But she continued: “After a decade of refusing to bring in minimum staffing levels, it’s ironic that the government is only prepared to do so during a strike.

“Every other day of the year, ambulance crews are stuck queuing for hours outside A&E departments and hospital staff are rushed off their feet. But the government isn’t interested in minimum staffing levels then.”

07:45am Good morning all. This is the start of another historic day, as UNISON members working in the ambulance service across England take a second day of industrial action.

We will be bringing you reports from around the regions, so stay tuned.