New front-line trade union formed


Hundreds of firefighters and ambulance paramedics have joined with psychiatric nurses to form a new trade union representing front-line personnel in the public service.

The fire and ambulance personnel involved are mainly leaving the country’s largest union Siptu.

The general secretary of the Psychiatric Nurses Association, Des Kavanagh said that he expected that around 2,500 new members would have signed up within the next six weeks.

The name of the new body has not been decided.

Mr Kavanagh said in the immediate term, the primary aim of the union would be to protect front-line services. He said that these were currently under immense threat.

He said in the medium term. it would be seeking to protect allowances and premium pay currently paid to members.

He said that eventually the organisation would get back to dealing with overall pay and conditions but he did not see this coming about within the next 12 to 18 months.