Ambulance staff were out in force today on strike at locations across the country, including at the National Ambulance Service offices on Kinsale Road in Cork.
More than 500 ambulance paramedics and emergency medical technicians are members of the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA) and the HSE continues to refuse negotiating rights for that union within the National Ambulance Service (NAS).
Ambulance crew went on strike today at 7am and will do so again next Wednesday.
Around 100 took part in a protest outside the Dail last week.
David Walker, an advanced paramedic in Cork, told The Echo that the government’s silence on the issue shows that ambulance staff are not high on their list of priorities.
“Leo Varadkar said recently that this is an inter-union dispute but that’s not the case at all,” said Mr Walker.
“It’s a dispute between the PNA, NASRA and the HSE.
“He’s more than willing to write a letter to Kylie Minogue but he won’t write one to the HSE on our behalf,” he added.
“That says a lot about the agenda at the moment and what’s top of this government’s list of priorities.
“The HSE are responding to the PNA through solicitors and solicitors’ letters and that’s costing the public money.
“They won’t talk to us but they’re spending this money on letters.”
Mr Walker warned of more protests and more strike action if the HSE continue to ignore NASRA as a union.