Date Released: 19 June 2014
SIPTU members in the HSE National Ambulance Service including advanced paramedics, emergency medical technicians, controllers and patient transport service professionals are to ballot for strike action over the refusal by the HSE to implement two binding Labour Court recommendations. Addressing a meeting in Liberty Hall today of union shop stewards and activists in the HSE, SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell said:
“We have been given no alternative but to ballot all SIPTU members employed in the HSE National Ambulance Service for strike action in support of our claim for the implementation of two binding Labour Court recommendations under the terms of the Haddington Road Agreement, both of which were issued over a year ago.
“It is also of concern that the Health Service Oversight Body formed to oversee the implementation of the Haddington Road Agreement and which is comprised of members of the Health Group of Unions, the HSE, the Department of Health and headed by the chairman of the Labour Relations Commission has had its unanimous call for implementation of the Labour Court recommendations totally stone walled without explanation”.
Paul Bell said that both Labour Court recommendations are extremely significant as they address the issues of redeployment as a consequence of the restructuring of services operated by the National Ambulance Service. Labour Court Recommendation 20456 addresses staff redeployment following the closure of Ambulance Command and Control Centres throughout the country in favour of a two centre Command and Control operation in Ballyshannon and Dublin.
“This Labour Court recommendation is ground breaking in that it confirms the right of our members to be redeployed to suitable posts not just within the ambulance service but also within the wider public service. He said that Labour Court Recommendation 20604 confirms the right to protection of our members under existing agreements and the right to re-deployment to suitable posts within the HSE and wider public service,” Paul Bell said.
He confirmed that the industrial action, if endorsed by SIPTU members, will be the first strike under the Public Service Agreement (Haddington Road). Balloting of SIPTU members will commence nationwide on Friday 27th June and will be completed within three weeks.