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SACRIFICES MADE BY PARAMEDICS UNDER CROKE PARK AGREEMENT IGNORED AS GOVERNMENT AND SIPTU AGREE EXEMPTIONS FOR SOME FRONTLINE WORKERS

The National Ambulance Service Representative Association,( NASRA ) said today (Sunday 3 rd March)  that it is now clear  that the proposed new  Croke Park extension proposals are the result of a totally flawed process that completely ignores the huge sacrifices that paramedics across the country have made under the original Croke Park agreement

NASRA National Chairman, Michael Dixon said the existing Croke Park Agreement (2010-2014) had delivered savings, cost effectiveness and efficiencies across the public sector and particularly in the health sector where saving of €3.5 billion had been achieved.

‘However, despite the huge savings achieved under Croke Park there has been no recognition given to HSE employees and in particular the paramedics and Advanced Paramedics, for the sacrifices they have made to date to deliver these savings.'

‘It now transpires that while prison officers and firefighters are to be exempt from the savage cuts in pay and allowance in Croke Park II there will be no similar exemption for Paramedics and Advanced Paramedics who deliver the same 24/7 frontline service as these other groups, and who have taken on massive changes in their working conditions and terms under Croke Park 1.

‘Paramedics and Advanced Paramedics of the NAS have facilitated enormous changes and reconfiguration of the services including:

  • National standardizing of Control Room operations
  • New rostering from 8 hour shifts to 12 hour.
  • C0-operation with hospital reconfiguration program
  • Redeployment changes
  • Introduction of ‘Lone Workers' to the service
  • Eradication of overtime.
  • Deduction of Sick Leave even though paramedics work permanently in a high risk environment.
  • Moratorium on recruitment and promotion.
  • Continuous in-service training and up- skilling and support for the introduction of new drugs to the service.

‘Paramedics have delivered more changes and more savings than any group under the original Croke Park Agreement  but we are clearly not going to be treated with any fairness or equality when it comes to the implementation by the Government of this new agreement.'

‘The strategy of the Government, supported and aided by SIPTU ,  to exempt some groups of 24/7 workers from Croke Park II while ignoring paramedics, has strengthened the resolve of NASRA as the sole independent trade union for National Ambulance Paramedics and Advanced Paramedics to totally reject the unjust proposals.'

‘Every single Paramedic and Advanced Paramedic member of SIPTU should be concerned that a deal has been done for one group of frontline workers and not for other of frontline personnel. SIPTU has failed to have paramedics recognized as a grade by our employer and the Government and have now turned their backs on the paramedic profession in this latest deal that they  have struck with the Government to exempt only some frontline workers from the Croke Park II cuts.'

Mr. Dixon concluded; ‘ NASRA will continue to fully support the 24/7 Alliance in resisting Croke Park II.  We will not accept a deal outside the remit of the 24/7 Alliance, and will only consider a deal based on equality and fairness and until such time the efforts made by other organizations  as   recognized by Government.'

Media Contacts : Mick Dixon 086-2704736/Derek Cunningham 086-2430535