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The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said today (Thursday , 13th Dec.) that the planned one day strike by PNA ambulance personnel members (including paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians) which was to take place on Wednesday 19th December has been deferred to Tuesday 22nd January .

PNA is now seeking an urgent referral to the WRC on both the substantive issue of the continued refusal by the HSE to engage in negotiations with the PNA when representing its ambulance branch, and the refusal of the HSE to negotiate contingency plans for industrial action by ambulance personnel.

 

Thursday, 29 th Nov.: The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said today (Thurs. 29 th Nov.) that its ambulance personnel members (including paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians)  will hold a one day national strike on Wednesday 19 th December in pursuit of their right to be represented by the trade union of their choice.

The one-day national strike by the PNA's 500 ambulance personnel members is the third phase of industrial action which commenced on October 10 th in protest at the continued refusal by the HSE to engage in negotiations with the PNA when representing its ambulance branch, or to make payroll deductions of union subscriptions for PNA ambulance personnel members. The national strike will commence at 7 a.m. on Wednesday 19 th . December and run until 5 p.m. that day.

PNA General Secretary, Peter Hughes said the strike was a serious escalation in a dispute which is entirely of the HSE's making and which PNA have repeatedly asked the HSE to resolve.

 

Thursday. 22 nd   Nov.: The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said today (Thurs. 22 nd   Nov.) its ambulance personnel members are determined to continue their overtime ban in pursuit of their right to be represented by the trade union of their choice and warned that the dispute could escalate. 

PNA said that despite HSE denials, there is clear evidence that ambulance services are being put under enormous pressure on a daily basis throughout the country as a result of the overtime ban by PNA's 500 ambulance personnel members.  

PNA ambulance personnel branch officers met on Monday and committed to continue their action in protest at the denial of their fundamental right to be members of the union of their choice and not of a union that the HSE wants to force them to join.

Peter Hughes PNA General Secretary said it was important for the public to be aware that the ambulance services nationally have been operating in crisis mode in recent weeks.

‘The reckless and intransigence position of the HSE in its  continued refusal  to engage in negotiations with the PNA when representing its ambulance branch , or to make payroll deductions of union subscriptions for PNA ambulance personnel members has resulted in ambulance services being stretched to the limit in recent weeks since the overtime ban commenced on November 7th.'

Examples of this are:

  • Ambulance crews were down by 50% on a number of occasions in Cork.
  • On one evening last week the ambulance fleet in the S.E. of the country was operating with six of its 11 ambulance fleet due to the inability of management to fill rosters.
  • HSE has been redeploying Rapid Response Vehicles (RRV) for use as ambulances though these vehicles are not suited for this purpose.
  • Staff are being rescheduled from training to crew ambulances where crews are refusing overtime.
  • Since the weekend, crews have been reduced and shifts not covered in Dublin, Dundalk, Drogheda, Naas, Maynooth,  Ballina, Mulranny, Castleblayney, Tullamore, Mullingar and Portlaoise.
  • HSE is relying on some non-PNA staff to work back-to-back shifts with obvious implications for health and safety.

Friday, November 9 th : The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said today (Friday, 9 th. Nov) that there has been significant disruption to ambulance services throughout the country since the implementation of an overtime ban by its 500 ambulance personnel members  on Wednesday last (Nov. 7 th ) .

The overtime ban in part of the Phase 2 of industrial action (which began on Oct.10 th ) in protest at continued refusal of the HSE to engage in negotiations with the PNA when representing their interests, or to make payroll deductions of union subscriptions for PNA ambulance personnel members.

The PNA said its members are reporting that ambulance services are being stretched to the limit as the HSE has struggled to fill rosters and maintain crews in the absence of overtime from PNA members.

PNA General Secretary, Mr Peter Hughes said this escalating dispute which was  brought on by the intransigent and reckless decision by the HSE to not allow ambulance personnel to join the union of their choice, is now putting the national ambulance services under serious and potentially dangerous strain.

“The HSE has been putting a patchwork of vehicles and crews together to cover major gaps in rosters as a result of the overtime ban. It is time for this to stop, and for the Minister for Health, Simon Harris T.D. to instruct the HSE to get back to running our health services and stop trying to undermine the rights of ambulance personnel to be part of the PNA union.'

Mr Hughes said there have been examples all this week of ambulance services having to be cut back and curtailed because of the overtime ban. Examples include:

Wednesday

•  Redeployment of EMT crew to Cork on Wednesday to bring ambulance numbers up;

•  ICV ambulances put on Delta calls in Cork, although they are not equipped for these calls;

•  Thurles ambulance in Cork to give cover;

•  No Rapid Response Vehicles  (RRV) in Nenagh on Wednesday night;

•  No ambulance in Mallow on Wednesday night;

•  No RRV in Middleton on Wednesday night

November 6 th 2018 – Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) ambulance personnel members will from tomorrow (Weds. November 7 th ) refuse to work additional shifts (overtime) in protest at continued refusal of the HSE to engage in negotiations with the PNA when representing their interests, or to make payroll deductions of union subscriptions for PNA ambulance personnel members.

The refusal of additional shifts by up to 500 PNA ambulance personnel members (including paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians) will take effect from 7 a.m. (Weds. Nov. 7 th ) when Phase 2 of the mandated industrial action commences. 

PNA General Secretary, Mr Peter Hughes said the move to Phase 2 of their industrial action by ambulance personnel represented a significant escalation in the dispute that is entirely of the HSE's making.

He said: “For highly skilled, professional and dedicated ambulance personnel to be forced by the intransigence of the HSE to embark on this overtime ban is totally unacceptable and confirms that the HSE sees no limits to the extent to which it will attempt to deny ambulance personnel their rights to join the union of their choice while also trying to force them to be part of a union that they do not want to be part of.”

 

Dublin, 1 November 2018 – Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) ambulance personnel members today (Thursday, November 1 st ) held a protest at the HSE National HR Directorate Offices at Dr. Steevens' Hospital, Dublin 8, at the continued refusal of the HSE to engage in negotiations with the PNA when representing the interests of their ambulance personnel members, or to make payroll deductions of union subscriptions for PNA ambulance personnel members.

Today's protest is part of ongoing industrial action by PNA ambulance personnel (including paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians) which began on October 10 th ,  and which will move to Phase 2 next Wednesday (November 7 th ) when up to 500 branch members of the PNA ambulance personnel branch (NASRA) will refuse to work additional shifts (overtime) nationally.

Speaking at today's protest, PNA General Secretary, Mr Peter Hughes accused the HSE of showing contempt for the clear wishes of ambulance personnel to be members of and represented by the PNA.

He said: ‘For the HSE to refuse to accept that ambulance personnel throughout the country want to be members of the PNA shows total contempt for the wishes of these front line workers, who must have the right to be members of the union of their choice.

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.