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:
• 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.