The GMB Union has confirmed on Tuesday that more than 100,000 ambulance workers are set to strike on 21 and 28 December.
Paramedics, call handlers and other staff will all walk out in December for two days in England and Wales.
Rachel Harrison, GMB national secretary, said: “After twelve years of Conservative cuts to the service and their pay packets, NHS staff have had enough.
“The last thing they want to do is take strike action, but the government has left them with no choice.
“Steve Barclay needs to listen and engage with us about pay. If he can’t talk to us about this most basic workforce issue, what on earth is he health secretary for?
“The government could stop this strike in a heartbeat – but they need to wake up and start negotiating on pay.”
haron Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Make no mistake, we are now in the fight of our lives for the very NHS itself. These strikes are a stark warning – our members are taking a stand to save our NHS from this government.
“Patients’ lives are already at risk but this government is sitting on the sidelines, dodging its responsibility to sort out the crisis that it has created.
“Ministers can’t keep hiding behind the pay review body. They know full well it does not address the desperate need to get huge numbers of NHS workers off the breadline.
“Fail to act now to avert these strikes and the blame will rest firmly at the Government’s door.”
Jason Kirkham, a Unite member and paramedic in the West Midlands, added: “This strike isn’t just about pay – it is to save the NHS. The NHS is crumbling. We can’t recruit and retain staff as pay is so low.
“It has got so bad that we have had to open a food bank in my ambulance station.”
The following trusts affected by the two day strikes:
- South West Ambulance Service
- South East Coast Ambulance Service
- North West Ambulance Service
- South Central Ambulance Service
- North East Ambulance Service