Ambulance workers vow more strikes unless their union is recognised by the HSE

Ambulance workers vow more strikes unless their union is recognised by the HSE
Some of the National Ambulance Service staff pictured at Kinsale Road, Cork, taking part in a 10 hour national strike to have the NASRA Union recognised by the HSE.

Further industrial action is expected by the ambulance crews of Cork in the coming weeks unless the HSE decide to engage with the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA) union.

A spokesperson of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said that if the HSE continue its policy and continues to refuse to engage with the NASRA union, representing 500 ambulance personnel nationally, there will be further days of industrial action.

“Today’s strike action very successful. it was supported comprehensively across the country. We sent a very clear message to the HSE, this is not an issue around pay or anything, it is a very fundamental issue that these ambulance personnel want to be represented by the union of their choice and if the HSE continues it policy to not engage, there will be further and more intense industrial action in the coming weeks.” 

HSE Ambulances lie idle at Bantry Ambulance Station as paramedics strike. Pic: Andy Gibson
HSE Ambulances lie idle at Bantry Ambulance Station as paramedics strike. Pic: Andy Gibson

The spokesperson said that there were some emergency transfers today and that they were responded to in line with the contingency plan that was agreed.

"Very specific cover for life-threatening situations was provided and nothing else. This was adhered to rigidly."

“The HSE acknowledged that they were under severe pressure today, but we feel the pressure was even more pronounced than they are willing to admit.” 

The spokesperson also confirmed there would be further industrial action unless there was a change of attitude from the HSE and a willingness to engage with the PNA to resolve this matter.

Separately, the PNA is to meet with the HSE tomorrow with regards to the two ambulance crew that were suspended following a safety call that prevented them from driving an emergency transfer to Dublin last Monday morning.

The PNA spokesperson said the issue is not going away.

“There is a lot of disaffection in Cork generally about it. I think that could come to a head over the next few days. There will be developments in the next day or two.”

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