28/06/2016

National Ambulance Service Industrial Action Vote Wins 92% Majority

SIPTU members in the National Ambulance Service (NAS) have voted with a 92% majority for industrial action in a dispute over conditions of employment.

SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell said: "Unfortunately, our members have no option but to implement a campaign of industrial action. NAS management has also failed to adequately engage with our members concerning the implementation of a fully developed Intermediate Care Service, as recommended by the Labour Court, or in relation to the application of an annualised hours system.

"SIPTU organisers will now consult with our workplace representatives on what industrial action to implement with the aim of causing the least impact on the public. However, the Minister for Health and the HSE are now on notice that we cannot guarantee that certain ambulance services will not be disrupted or suspended during the period of industrial action."

He added: "The message from our members is loud and clear. They are calling on the Minister to instruct the HSE to engage in meaningful negotiations to protect and develop a key public health service on which our communities rely for 365 days a year."

Chairman of the Irish Ambulance Representative Council, Peter Ray, added: "Following our members' overwhelming decision to back industrial action senior management at the HSE must focus on constructively dealing with the issues in dispute.

"The ballot result clearly indicates our members' frustration at how they have been treated and the failure of senior management to listen to their concerns. In recent years, our members changed work practices and achieved significant cost savings so that the NAS could develop within the financial constraints placed upon them by the wider economic recession.

"Our members have not received any recognition for the sacrifices they have made. It is now time for senior management at the HSE to deliver improved terms and conditions as well as a fully resourced service that is of a standard that the public deserves."

(MH)

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