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Image / Editorial

Irish ambulance staff announce plans to strike for three more days


by Jennifer McShane
06th Feb 2019
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It was announced on Wednesday evening up to 500 ambulance service personnel are to go on strike for three more days in the coming weeks.

This is the latest wave of strike action to protest Ireland’s crumbling health service following the nurses strike, the controversy surrounding the cost of the new children’s hospital and the National Association of GPs (NAGP) protest which took place on Wednesday.

Related: Irish GPs to protest insufficient funding outside the Dáil today

When are the strikes? 

The staff concerned, who are members of the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (Nasra), are to stage work stoppages on Friday, February 15th; Thursday, February 28th; and Friday, March 1st. Nasra is a branch of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA).

The action will run from 7am to 5 pm each day.

Related: #StandWithNurses: Strike action to be extended in February

Why are they striking?

The dispute centres on the deduction of union subscription fees from members’ pay as well as a demand that the HSE recognises their union.

Workers already staged a 10-hour work stoppage at the end of January.

Peter Hughes, PNA General Secretary, said of the plans to strike: “ [These] strike days are considerable escalation of the industrial action taken to-date by ambulance personnel and show their resolve to be represented by the union of their choice, and not by a trade union that the HSE wants to force them to join.”

Sinead McGrath, National Chair of Nasra, also called on Health Minister Simon Harris to avoid further escalation in the dispute and “instruct the HSE to engage with the industrial relations machinery to end this dispute.”

The HSE has yet to comment on the strikes.