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A general meeting of ambulance service personnel (members of the National Ambulance Service Representative Association -NASRA) , has  unanimously agreed to ballot for industrial action, up to and including strike action, in response to the continued refusal of the HSE to facilitate payroll deductions of union subscriptions for new NASRA members. The ballot will commence this Friday.

Mr Peter Hughes, the General Secretary of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA), of which NASRA is a union branch, said the decision is a response to the arbitrary move earlier this year by the HSE to refuse to facilitate union payroll deductions for the growing numbers of ambulance service personnel (including paramedics advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians) who wish to join NASRA, and exercise their fundamental right to organise and join the union of their choice.

‘As a union branch of the PNA, NASRA members have been left with no other option than to commence a ballot when they are being denied a fundamental right of freedom of association. I am calling on the HSE to immediately commence processing union deductions from payroll for new NASRA members as is the norm across the trade union sector.'

Sinead McGrath, National Chairperson of NASRA said:  ‘NASRA is now seven years in existence, and in that time it has built its membership nationally and has represented scores of members in industrial relations and grievance cases with the HSE, and the Workplace Relations Commission. NASRA members will not allow themselves to be obstructed from joining NASRA by the HSE in this way by having a basic workplace right denied to them. That right is afforded to union members across the workforce and to our fellow PNA members working in the HSE.'

ENDS

Media Contacts:  Derek Cunningham 086-2430535, Sinead McGrath, 087-766 8814,Tony Gregg, 086-3344186,