Cork ambulance crews bring their protest to the Dáil in union recognition row

Cork ambulance crews bring their protest to the Dáil in union recognition row
NASRA members, Joe Tobin, Paula McCarthy and David Walker, NASRA Secretary Southern Region on Patrick Street. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

DOZENS of Cork ambulance staff are to travel to Dublin next month to protest outside the Dáil to highlight their dispute with the HSE.

Ambulance crews have gone on strike on almost 10 separate occasions so far this year and are set to protest outside Leinster House on July 4, with buses travelling from Cork.

The latest protest centres on the refusal of the HSE to recognise the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA), a branch of the PNA, as the trade union of choice for more than 500 ambulance staff personnel.

Members of the public signing the NASRA petition. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Members of the public signing the NASRA petition. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

NASRA members took to the streets of Cork last weekend to hand out leaflets and inform the public on the issue.

The latest protest announcement comes as ambulance staff are preparing to engage in one more 24-hour strike in the coming weeks before scheduling rolling 24-hour strikes.

“Workers, not just ambulance staff but all workers, have the fundamental right to be represented by a union of their choice and we will fight to the hilt for this right,” said NASRA secretary Tony Gregg.

He added that if the dispute was not resolved by the time they are due back at Leinster House, ambulance staff would be protesting again.

David Walker, an advanced paramedic in Cork, has told The Echo that NASRA members are determined to push on with the action and gain acknowledgement from the HSE.

He added that morale in the ranks is at an all-time low and that bullying from the HSE was rife.

The ambulance service will have contingency plans in place to deal with emergencies during any strike action.

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