SIPTU members in the National Ambulance Service (NAS) have demanded that the Health Service Executive (HSE) immediately draft a contingency plan that provides emergency ambulance cover for the duration of their scheduled strike which is due to begin on Wednesday, 10th August.
SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell, said: “Union representatives met with HSE management today (Thursday, 28th July) to discuss the long running dispute concerning the conditions of employment of ambulance workers and the future development of the service.
“These issues include the compensation due to NAS workers under the Public Service Agreement, the implementation of a fully developed Intermediate Care Service as recommended by the Labour Court and the application of an annualised hours system.
“This was our second meeting with HSE management to discuss these issues since our members served notice of strike action. Unfortunately, the meeting did not result in enough progress being made towards finding solutions for the issues of concern. Our members remain on course to implement an all-out strike from 10th August. We are calling on the HSE to immediately enter into discussions to develop a contingency plan that ensures public safety and emergency cover for the duration of any strike action by our members.”
He added: “Our members are also deeply disappointed that the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has remained detached from this dispute and has not intervened to ensure the public has the standard of ambulance service that it deserves. Our members have presented workable solutions to the issues in dispute. They remain determined to win the fight to secure a fully resourced world class ambulance service, led by the best ambulance professionals available, with which the public can have total confidence.”
SIPTU representatives and HSE management are scheduled to meet again on Friday, 5th August, to discuss the issues of concern for union members in the NAS.