Ambulance staff begin strike action in row over conditions

Ambulance staff begin strike action in row over conditions
National Ambulance Service staff pictured at Kinsale Road taking part in the first of two consecutive days of 10 hour national strikes to have the NASRA Union recognised by the HSE.Picture Denis Minihane.

A HSE survey has highlighted why “overstretched and underpaid” ambulance staff are striking today and tomorrow, it has been claimed.

More than 500 members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) are on strike nationally today and tomorrow in pursuit of their right to join and be represented by the PNA as the union of their choice.

It comes as the HSE National Staff Sector Survey reveals that just 8% of national ambulance service staff say they feel valued and recognised in their organisation, while only 20% are satisfied with their right to be represented by their trade union.

A mere 6% expressed satisfaction with their level of pay.

Solidarity TD Mick Barry said that the HSE is attempting to run the national ambulance service by pushing staff “beyond their limits”.

“The service has suffered from years of underinvestment which leaves it short hundreds of staff and hundreds of ambulances.

“Today is the third day of national strike action and the issue is clearly not going to just go away. The Minister for Health needs to intervene and give clear direction that this trade union should be recognised. The issues in the service will then have to be addressed including both the issues of resources and bullying,” he added.

The finding of 69% experiencing bullying or harassment does not give a breakdown of bullying from management or other ambulance staff versus bullying from service users.

Ambulance crew in Cork began a two-day strike this morning outside the National Ambulance Service on Kinsale Road.

More than 500 members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) are on strike nationally today and tomorrow in pursuit of their right to join and be represented by the PNA as the union of their choice.

Ambulance branch members, including paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians, will strike from 7am to 5pm each day.

The two-day strike action follows previous strikes on January 22 and February 15.

General Secretary of the union, Peter Hughes said that the HSE has made absolutely no effort to address or resolve this dispute, and have now forced professional and highly trained ambulance personnel across the country into the unprecedented position of mounting a two-day strike.

“The HSE has chosen to ignore repeated offers by PNA to attend WRC talks on this dispute,” he added.

“The HSE has further ignored the calls by Minister for Health, Simon Harris and many other Dail deputies to resolve this dispute through negotiation rather than confrontation.

“Thursday and Friday’s strike action is a further demonstration of the determination of ambulance personnel to secure their rights to union membership and it is way past the time for the HSE to recognise this and bring this unnecessary dispute to an end,” said Mr Hughes.

More in this section

Sponsored Content