AN elected representative has been offering his support to Welsh Ambulance Service staff.

Dwyfor Meirionnydd MS Mabon ap Gwynfor joined Welsh Ambulance Service staff on the picket line in Bala on Monday for a day of industrial action, as the staff continue their fight for better pay and improved working conditions.

Monday marked the first of three days of industrial action this month by Welsh Ambulance Service staff, which will see around half of Wales' paramedics, medical technicians and call handling staff taking action right across Wales.

Unite and GMB members were striking on Monday, with Unite members also set to walk out on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Mabon ap Gwynfor MS and Liz Saville Roberts MP have called on the Welsh Government health minister Eluned Morgan to engage in meaningful pay negotiations, commensurate with the ever-increasing pressures and responsibilities placed on frontline staff.

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Commenting following his attendance on the picket line in Bala, Mr ap Gwynfor said: "Today, I joined local ambulance workers on the picket line in Y Bala as paramedics, medical technicians and call handling staff continue their fight for fair pay and safe working conditions.

"I once again heard directly from frontline staff about the pressures they face.

"Both Liz Saville Roberts and I fully support hard-working ambulance staff across Gwynedd as they take a principled stand against real terms pay cut and the unrelenting crisis in their working conditions."

In a written statement on the non-pay element of negotiations for ambulance staff, health minister Eluned Morgan stated: "Over the past few weeks we have listened carefully to what NHS Trade Unions have told us are their frustrations so we are really pleased that we have been able to offer a 3 per cent pay increase which will be backdated to April 2022... this is on top of the £1,400 already paid to NHS staff following recommendations of the independent pay review body.

"It is really important that I am clear that this is the very final offer that I am able to make for 22/23 within the funding available.

"But I have also listened... to what Trade Unions have been telling me about the frustrations of their members, who are sitting for hours outside hospitals waiting to discharge their patients.

"I get that people are extremely frustrated that they are not using their skills that they have trained hard to develop and that is why I recognise that we needed to go further than the pay offer.

"The pressures within the NHS I know have a very specific impact on WAST working conditions, so I understand that the non-pay elements are equally as important because I know that WAST staff want to serve their communities to the best of their abilities."

Mr ap Gwynfor added: "Time and again, Plaid Cymru has urged Welsh Government to look at all the powers they have - taxation, reserves, and reallocation to prioritise fairer pay for health and care workers.

"Yet they’ve chosen to turn a blind eye to the chronic issues plaguing the NHS.

"As I was there the crew were called out to a red call. They dropped everything without hesitation and were off to save someone's life.'

"This experience goes to show that the derogation put in place for the strikes work, but also that the workforce is committed and caring, and will always put others before themselves.

"I call again on the Welsh government to return to the negotiating table with an improved offer - one which sufficiently reflects the increasing pressure on frontline ambulance workers."