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Monday , 9 th July 2018

Ambulance service personnel (members of the National Ambulance Service Representative Association -NASRA) , have voted overwhelmingly for  industrial action, up to and including strike action, in protest at the  continued refusal of the HSE to facilitate payroll deductions of union subscriptions for new NASRA members. In a ballot conducted nationally over the past two weeks the members voted by nearly 98% in favour of industrial action which will now commence on Tuesday , 24 th July.

Mr Peter Hughes, the General Secretary of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA), of which NASRA is a union branch, said the decisive outcome of the ballot confirmed the level of anger and frustration by NASRA members at having a basic work right to join the union of their choice denied to them.

‘The message to the HSE from this outcome could not be clearer. Ambulance personnel do not accept the  arbitrary move taken  earlier this year by the HSE to refuse to  deduct union subscriptions at source 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.'

‘NASRA members as union branch members of the PNA had been left with no other option than to take this action and protect their fundamental right of freedom of association. The HSE have chosen to refuse to engage with us on the fundamental issue despite many requests to do so. There is still time to avert industrial action and 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:  ‘Eight years on from its formation NASRA is an organised and effective union which has built its membership nationally and represented scores of members in industrial relations and grievance cases. It is time for the HSE to wake up and accept the implications of this ballot outcome which clearly says that  NASRA members will not allow themselves to be obstructed from joining their union by  having a basic workplace right of payroll deductions of union subscriptions denied to them.'

ENDS

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

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