Ambulance personnel strike across the north west

Ambulance personnel across various locations in the north west are on strike today in a row over union recognition.

The industrial action will continue until 5 o’clock this evening.

Therese Madden reports from the picket line at Sligo University Hospital.

Members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association are picketing at Sligo and Letterkenny University Hospitals as well as at ambulance bases in Ballyshannon, Donegal Town Dungloe, Killybeggs and Carndonagh.

Ambulance personnel who belong to the PNA want the HSE to recognise the trade union as well as deduct and remit their subscription fee from their pay.

The HSE says it already recognises SIPTU, UNITE and FORSA, and thinks engaging with any further organisations would harm good industrial relations in the National Ambulance Service.

Garry Currivan is a member of the National Ambulance Service Representative Association and also an Emergency Medical Technician

Speaking on the picket line outside Sligo University Hospital today, he says a number of measures have been put in place to ensure that the NAS is not compromised in any way during the strike.

SIPTU – which represents the most front line staff – has confirmed that it expects its members to work as normal today.

While the PNA says it will not call on other unions to join the strike and will provide emergency cover where necessary.

Secretary of the North West NASRA Branch, Christina Martin, says further strikes will be planned if an agreement is not reached after today’s demonstration.