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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.'

Mr Gregg said NASRA members will be intensifying their campaign to have NASRA union subscriptions deducted at source in the coming weeks.

Peter Hughes, General Secretary of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) of which NASRA is an affiliate union said:

‘NASRA is calling on the HSE to respect the wishes of paramedics nationally to join the union of their choice and continue to build an effective and efficient organisation that will represent members' interests and give them a voice on the future role of paramedics in the development of the Irish health services. The days of an employer, particularly a state employer like the HSE, hindering or frustrating the rights of workers to organise and freely associate are long gone, and it is time that the HSE and the NAS fully accepted this fact. ‘


Media Contacts :  Derek Cunningham 086-2430535, Tony Gregg, 086-3344186, Brendan Flynn 087-6363663