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CAMPAIGN FOR THE RIGHT TO REPRESENTATION BY THE TRADE UNION OF THEIR CHOICE ESCALATES

Thursday 30 th May  - Over 500 ambulance personnel members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA)  will strike for  24 hours from 7 a.m. Tomorrow (Friday, May 31 st )  in pursuit of their demand for the right to be represented by the PNA as the union of their choice

The first 24-hour strike throughout the country, involving paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians, will run to 7 a.m.on Saturday. In this new phase of the industrial dispute, further 24-hour strikes will follow on dates to be announced in the coming weeks.

Peter Hughes, PNA General Secretary, said once again the HSE had refused to engage in normal industrial relations protocol of agreeing contingency planning where notice is given of  industrial action involving the emergency services.

“The irresponsible approach of the HSE in relying on its lawyers to negotiate contingency planning for a 24 hour strike involving front line emergency services is unprecedented. A year and a half after moving to deny ambulance personnel the right to be represented by the PNA , the HSE appears to persist in the view that this dispute will simply ‘go away'. After six days of strike action and an escalation now to 24-hour strike, our ambulance branch members could not be clearer that the dispute is not ‘going away' and their resolve and determination to be allowed join and represented by the PNA (which has been the case since 2010) is as strong as ever.”

Media Contact: Derek Cunningham 086-2430535

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PNA calls on new HSE Director General to end divisive dispute

Thursday, 23 rd  May -  The Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) said today (Thursday) that the first of a series of 24 hour strikes by its ambulance personnel members (including paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians)  in pursuit of their demand for the right to be represented by the PNA as the union of their choice will take place from 7 a.m. Friday 31 st May to 7 a.m. Saturday 1 st June. The strike by over 500 ambulance personnel members of the PNA is a further escalation of the industrial dispute and more 24-hour strikes will follow on dates to be announced in the coming weeks. 

Peter Hughes, PNA General Secretary, said once again the HSE was forcing an escalation in a dispute that is entirely of the HSE's making.  To date, PNA ambulance branch members have engaged in a work to rule and have undertaken six strike days since the dispute began.

Peter Hughes said: “It has become very clear that not alone has the HSE refused to engage in the normal industrial relations protocol of agreeing contingency plans for our previous strike days, but it has also exploited the professionalism and dedication of ambulance personnel to ensure that ambulance services are provided even in a strike situation.  HSE management have sat back and placed the responsibility of maintaining ambulance cover on our members. As we move to 24 hour strikes it is incumbent on the HSE to comply with custom and practice and negotiate contingency arrangements for the planned 24-hour strike days.”

He said: “The demand by over 500 of our members to be members of, and represented by, the PNA now has strong cross-party political support in the Dáil.  However, despite his comments in the Dáil that he wants this dispute referred to the WRC, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris has been incapable of bringing the HSE to its senses and ending this divisive dispute.”

Mr. Hughes added: “It should now be a priority for the new HSE Director General, Paul Reid, to bring this dispute to an end, and stop trying to force ambulance personnel into unions that they have made it clear they are not prepared to be members of. Mr Reid has an opportunity to end this dispute which is impacting on performance and morale within the ambulance services - a vital area of frontline health services.”

Media Contact:  Derek Cunningham 086-2430535

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Wednesday 15 th   May  - Ambulance personnel members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) from around the country protested at Leinster House, Kildare St. today (Wednesday 15 th May) at 1 p.m. for a second time in demand  of their right to be represented by the PNA as the union of their choice. Today's  protest will initiate a new campaign of  escalating industrial action with two 24 hour strikes in the coming weeks,  with  one taking place in the week beginning 27 th   May, and the second in the week beginning 3rd June.

Peter Hughes, PNA General Secretary said PNA ambulance branch members were again bringing their protest to Leinster House to ensure that politicians hear the strength of resolve and determination that the members  have to secure the basic right to join and  be represented by a recognised trade union.

‘That this dispute has been allowed by the HSE to fester and drag on for over a year is a disgrace. This is especially so when the HSE has refused invitations to the WRC and calls from across the political divide to recognise the wishes of ambulance personnel and end this unnecessary dispute. The unanimous support shown at our  PNA Annual Delegate Conference in Wexford in recent weeks was heartening, and confirms that this dispute is not going away until the rights of ambulance personnel are respected and vindicated.'

Sinead McGrath,  PNA Ambulance Branch Chairwoman, said:

 

Thursday, 18th April - Ambulance personnel members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) meeting in Mullingar today agreed to escalate theirindustrial action with a rolling series of 24 hour strikes in pursuit of their right to join and be represented by the PNA as the union of their choice. Dates for the series of 24- hour national ambulance strikes will be confirmed at the PNA Annual Delegate Conference on May 2nd. PNA ambulance personnel will also mount a second protest at Dail Eireann on May 15th.

 

Tuesday 9 th April - Ambulance personnel members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) will mount their sixth day of strike nationally tomorrow, Wednesday 10 th April, in their continuing campaign for their right to join, and be represented by the PNA as the union of their choice. The strike action will run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Meanwhile, in its ongoing campaign the PNA National Ambulance Branch will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of its members on Thursday, April 18 th in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath to consider further escalation of  industrial action.

Over 500 PNA ambulance branch members (including paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians) are determined in their campaign for the fundamental right to join and be represented by the union of their choice. The members totally reject the continued effort by the HSE to force them to be members of unions they do not want to join.

 

Monday 1 st April - Ambulance personnel members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) will hold a fifth day of strike nationally tomorrow, Tuesday 2 nd April, in their continuing campaign for their right to join, and be represented by the PNA as the union of their choice. The strike action will run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Tomorrow's strike by  500 PNA ambulance branch members (including paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians) is a further stage in the determined campaign by PNA ambulance personnel members that has already involved four days of strike action on January 22 nd , February 15 th , 28 th and March 1 st .

Peter Hughes, PNA General Secretary said ambulance personnel members brought their protest to the Dail last week, and with their strike action tomorrow they are sending a clear message to the HSE that they are not prepared to have the fundamental right to join and be represented by the union of their choice denied to them.

‘Tomorrow's strike (and the further strike day on April 10 th ) is  avoidable if the HSE will stop its unprecedented opposition to allowing 500 ambulance personnel to be represented by PNA  - a trade union with  over 40 years' experience in representing workers within the health and social care services It is time for the HSE to respond to three separate WRC invitations to attend talks to resolve this dispute through industrial relations procedures and not through confrontation or legal threats.'

‘Since it was established in 2010 hundreds of frontline ambulance personnel have made their decision to join PNA  ambulance branch which now represents more members by far than at least one of the two unions recognised by the HSE for frontline paramedics. It is inexplicable that the HSE is continuing to attempt to ignore and frustrate the wishes of these frontline staff to be members of the PNA'.

Media Contact: Derek Cunningham 086-2430535

Tuesday. 26th March - Ambulance personnel members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) will hold a protest at Leinster House, Kildare St. tomorrow Wednesday 27th March from 2.30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in their continuing campaign for their right to join, and be represented by the PNA as the union of their choice.

Separately, PNA has announced that over 500 PNA ambulance branch members (including paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians) will hold two further days of strike on Tuesday 2nd April, and Wednesday 10th April from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Tomorrow’s protest, and the further strike action in April is a further stage in the determined campaign by PNA ambulance personnel members that has already involved four days of strike action on January 22nd, February 15th, 28th and March 1st.

 

The branch committee representing ambulance personnel members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) today (Weds. March 6 th .) agreed that a protest will be held outside Dáil Éireann on Wednesday 27 th of March from 12 midday to 2 p.m.  

This protest is part of the ongoing campaign by PNA ambulance service members in demand of the right to be represented by the union of their choice, a right  being denied by the HSE.

The March 27 th protest follows on from four days of strike to date by PNA ambulance personnel members. Further strike dates will be confirmed in the coming week.

Media Contact : Derek Cunningham 086-2430535