AMBULANCE staff from across the region are set to be balloted by their trade union following alleged failures to address ongoing issues.

A statement from GMB Southern Region says South Western Ambulance Service Trust's (SWAST) refusal to recognise the union as the alternative choice leaves members with a trade dispute and "no option" other than to consider potential strike action.

The trade union has highlighted issues around annual leave, rotas and pay banding.

GMB, the union for ambulance paramedics and professionals, has informed SWAST chief executive Ken Wenman that they will be undertaking a consultative ballot.

The ballot which opened on Monday, March 26 and closes on Friday, April 13 is the final step of the GMB internal process before, should members support doing so, moving on to the required independent full industrial action ballot.

Gary Palmer GMB regional organiser says: "SWAST’s continual refusal to recognise GMB as the alternative union of choice for staff at the Trust leaves GMB members with a trade dispute and no option other than to consider potential strike action."

The move follows lobbying by GMB with SWAST, which last year saw the group write an open letter to Ken Wenman calling for him to quit his post.