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PNA says HSE cannot dictate the choice of union for Ambulance Personnel

Members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) in the National Ambulance Service will tomorrow (Wednesday 10 th Oct. ) commence  industrial action in protest at the continued refusal by the HSE to engage in negotiations with the PNA when representing the interests of their ambulance personnel members, and the refusal to make payroll deductions of union subscriptions for ambulance personnel members.

PNA balloted members of its ambulance service personnel branch (the National Ambulance Service Representative Association NASRA) for industrial action in August and received an overwhelming  vote in favour of action up to and including strike.

Peter Hughes, General Secretary of PNA,,of which NASRA is a union branch, said 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 are not prepared to have such basic trade union rights dictated to them by the HSE.

Mr Hughes said it is baffling in the extreme as to why the HSE has chosen to confront NASRA members on this issue of fundamental workers' rights, and it can only be concluded that seven years after NASRA was formed as a branch of PNA that the HSE is attempting to stop the work and expansion of NASRA, and force ambulance personnel throughout the country to remain in another union that they do not want to be part of. 

‘This cannot, and will not be allowed to happen. NASRA was established as a branch of the PNA for ambulance service personnel and the  HSE is now attempting to stop the growth of the NASRA branch by refusing to facilitate payroll deductions of subscriptions, or negotiate with NASRA as an established branch of the PNA.'

‘The PNA once again calls on the HSE to engage with it in order to resolve these issues.'

The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) today  (Weds. 25 th July) announced that it will hold a ballot of members of its ambulance service personnel branch (the National Ambulance Service Representative Association NASRA)  for industrial action , up to and including strike, in protest at the continued refusal by the HSE to engage in negotiations with the PNA when representing the interests of their ambulance personnel members, and the HSE refusal to make payroll deductions of union subscriptions as it does with other unions throughout the health services.

Today's decision to re-ballot NASRA members  follows the cancellation of industrial action  by NASRA yesterday (July 24 th ) as the result of a threat issued last week by the HSE to seek an injunction to prevent  all industrial action by the  NASRA/ PNA branch.

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.'

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.

NASRA members turned out in force at the National Ambulance Services Central Payroll H.Q. in Tullamore, Co Offaly to protest at the continued refusal of the HSE to facilitate payroll deductions of union subscriptions for NASRA members.

Tony Gregg, National Secretary of NASRA, said the protest was an expression of the deep frustration and anger among the growing numbers of NASRA members nationally that their fundamental rights to organise and join the union of their choice were being obstructed by the HSE.

Thanks to all NASRA members for their support and solidarity for the protest.

Paramedics (members of the National Ambulance Service Representative Association -NASRA) today, (Thursday 8 th February), mounted a protest at the National Ambulance Services Central Payroll H.Q. in Tullamore, Co Offaly at the continued refusal of the HSE to facilitate payroll deductions of union subscriptions for NASRA members.

Tony Gregg, National Secretary of NASRA, said today's protest was an expression of the deep frustration and anger among the growing numbers of NASRA members nationally that their fundamental rights to organise and join the union of their choice were being obstructed by the HSE.

Mr Gregg said NASRA is now seven years in existence, and in that time it has represented scores of members in industrial relations and grievance cases with the HSE, and the Workplace Relations Commission.

‘The work of NASRA is being recognised by ICO paramedic and advanced paramedic grades throughout the country who are exercising their basic rights to organise and associate by joining the union in growing numbers.  By denying the simple facility of automatic payroll deductions of union subscriptions the HSE is denying these fundament rights to paramedics. This is a blatant attempt to frustrate the wish of paramedics to join NASRA and with today's protest we are saying that we will not tolerate this action by the HSE.'

Michael Dixon, NASRA Chairman discussed the stress on the ambulance service during the hospital over- crowding crisis on RTEs Morning Ireland.

You can listen to the interview here

http://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/radioplayer/rteradioweb.html#!rii=b9_21298310_48_11-01-2018_

You can read the latest Winter 2017 edition of the NASRA FRONTLINE Newsletter HERE.

It has been a busy year for the union,and there are plenty of issues to be addressed in the New Year.

Meanwhile, we wish all our members a Happy and Peaceful Christmas and New Year.