National ambulance strikes have been suspended after GMB and other unions agreed to talks with the government.

The GMB union said there had been a “huge shift” in the government’s position over pay.

Ambulance workers had been set to walk out on Monday, and on 8 March.

In the announcement, the union revealed it has had “assurances” there is more money for pay increases this year and next that is above existing budgets, adding talks will begin next week.

Rachel Harrison, GMB national secretary, said: “GMB ambulance workers announced a tightening of the derogations for cover on strike days.

“Less than 24 hours later we received a letter from the Secretary of State for Health, Steve Barclay, inviting us and other unions to pay talks.

“This is a huge shift from the government, who for months have refused to consider negotiations on pay.

“Now, they are saying they are willing to sit down and talk.”

The move in England comes after a similar postponement in Wales.

Unite and GMB have said that they will also suspend strike action after a “positive and intensive set of negotiations” on Friday.

They will now conduct further talks with Welsh Ambulance and the Welsh government.

While the talks are what the unions call a “positive step forward”, negotiations are set to continue on Monday.

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