Cork ambulance staff to strike again this week

Cork ambulance staff to strike again this week
David Walker, secretary of the Cork & Kerry region and his colleagues, all members of the National Ambulance Service representative association branch of PNA, picketing at the Cork city ambulance base on Kinsale Road.Picture: David Keane.

AMBULANCE staff in Cork are set to strike again this week after the HSE failed to address union concerns.

The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) suspended strike action last week in the hopes that the Labour Court would recommend reform that would resolve the recruitment and retention crisis within the services and that the HSE would recognise the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA) as a union. With no resolution found, ambulance crews across Cork and Ireland will enter strike action tomorrow and Friday.

Cork TD Mick Barry (Solidarity) has criticised the silence of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil TDs on the issues surrounding the national ambulance dispute.

Deputy Barry said that there has never before in the history of the State been a national ambulance dispute but now there is one there is nothing but “radio silence” from the majority of the people elected to run the country.

The dispute centres around the refusal of the HSE to recognise the trade union chosen by more than 500 national ambulance staff.

Strikes are planned for tomorrow and Friday following earlier one day strikes on January 22 and February 15.

“Simon Harris is refusing to recognise a trade union and Fine Gael TDs are just keeping their mouths shut,” said Deputy Barry.

“Micheál Martin is propping up the Government and has nothing to say about workers in a state service being denied their rights.

“There has never before been a national ambulance strike in the entire history of the State,” he added.

“It’s amazing that there is one now and the majority of people elected to run the country have gone all quiet about it and are avoiding any debate on the issues.

“These people normally aren’t short of a word or two. I’m calling them out on their silence this morning and challenging the local media to do so too.”

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