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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.

PNA General Secretary, Peter Hughes said it was clear from the obstruction and intimidation by the HSE that they were trying 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.

‘NASRA was established as a branch of the PNA for ambulance service personnel eight years ago,   and has grown incrementally and successfully represented members at industrial relations fora. It is obvious now that the HSE is 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 trade union.'

‘In introducing a new restriction last November to the established practice of facilitating payroll deductions of  union subscriptions  for new NASRA members , and in threatening a High Court injunction,  it is clear that  the HSE objective  is  to frustrate the development  of NASRA  as a legitimate union branch of PNA  representing growing numbers of ambulance personnel ‘.

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

Media Contacts: Peter Hughes  087 2103514, Sinead McGrath, 087-766 8814, Derek Cunningham 086-2430535,