Ambulance staff seek lower retirement age of 55

Siptu says paramedics will reject any Government move to raise retirement age

Ambulance staff want to be able to retire at the same age as other emergency service workers.

Ambulance staff want to be able to retire at the same age as other emergency service workers.

 

Ambulance personnel are to seek a review of their retirement age and have said they want parity with others working in the emergency services such as fire service staff and garda.

The trade union Siptu said on Friday that its members in the National Ambulance Service will “reject an attempt by the Government to extend their legal retirement age beyond 65 unless a proper evaluation of the full impact of such a measure is undertaken”.

Siptu health division organiser Paul Bell said: “Our members are determined to engage with Government on their intention to extend the legal retirement age for public servants from 65 to 70 years of age. Members of the public may not be aware that the normal retirement age of ambulance professionals employed by the Health Service Executive is 65 unlike members of the Fire Service, Defence Forces or An Garda Síochána. This is unacceptable and we will be campaigning for parity of esteem with other frontline emergency workers.”

Siptu said that some other frontline emergency service personnel can retire as early as age 55.

Speaking at a conference of the union’s national ambulance service workers in Dublin on Friday Mr Bell said the job of an ambulance professional was both stressful and physical by its nature.

“The occupation requires shift work, long hours and this contributes to a degree of burnout. It is also necessary to understand that ambulance professionals require continual academic training and education which brings about its own pressures.”

“Our demands are simple. We want an independent study on the physical ability of ambulance professionals to perform the full range of life saving duties at more than 65 years of age. It must also include an analysis of international best practice, as well as comparing the role with the Fire Service, Defence Forces, Prison Officers and An Garda Síochána all of whom are exposed to similar working environments.”