Ambulance staff to stage two further strikes next month

Work stoppages on April 2nd and 10th are part of long-running dispute over trade union representation rights

File photograph showing ambulance personnel striking on January 22nd at the ambulance service facility on the Davitt Road, Dublin. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

File photograph showing ambulance personnel striking on January 22nd at the ambulance service facility on the Davitt Road, Dublin. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Ambulance staff are planning to stage two further strikes next month s part of a long-running dispute over trade union representation rights.

Members of the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (Nasra) are to stop work on on Tuesday April 2nd, and Wednesday April 10th from 7am to 5pm.

Members of the organisation - which is a branch of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) - have already staged strikes on four days so far this year as part of their campaign.

The staff concerned - including various grades of ambulance personnel such as paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians - are in dispute with HSE management over trade union representation rights and the deduction of union subscriptions at source from their pay.

Ambulance staff who are members of Nasra are also to stage a protest outside Leinster House on Wednesday as part of their current campaign.

The PNA has maintained that its Nasra branch has about 500 members in the National Ambulance Service.

However the HSE does not recognise the PNA or its Nasra branch as a representative body for ambulance personnel.

The general secretary of the PNA Peter Hughes said the staff concerned were pursuing “a fundamental right of workers to be members of the union of their choice”.

“With Wednesday’s Dáil protest and the further strike days in April, our PNA ambulance members are showing once again that they are determined to secure their right to organise and be represented by PNA , a trade union of over 40 years’ experience in representing workers within the health and social care services.”

“Hundreds of frontline ambulance personnel have made their decision to join PNA since its ambulance branch was established in 2010 and PNA ambulance branch now represents more members by far than at least one of the two unions recognised by the HSE for frontline paramedics. It is unacceptable that the HSE is continuing to attempt to ignore and frustrate the wishes of these frontline staff to be members of the PNA.”

The HSE has argued throughout the current dispute that ambulance personnel are well-represented through agreed industrial relations processes.

The HSE has maintained that recognition of other associations or unions “would undermine the positive engagement that exists and would impair good industrial relations in the National Ambulance Service”.