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Strike looms in ambulance service over unsuitable posts

SIPTU members will be balloted on action over the HSE’s failure to implement Labour Court recommendations on staff redeployment.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

SIPTU MEMBERS OF the HSE’s ambulance service are to ballot for industrial action over a failure to implement staff redeployment recommendations made by the Labour Court.

The recommendations said that if a post was not suitable for a person in the ambulance service, they can be transferred to the wider public service.

SIPTU organiser Paul Bell said there are currently 103 people who are “not in the right job right now” – some waiting to be redeployed for over a year. The recommendations were made under the terms of the Haddington Road Agreement, which made a staff reshuffle necessary as part of the restructuring of services in the National Ambulance Service.

Addressing a meeting in Liberty Hall of shop stewards and activists in the HSE today, Bell said the union had been given “no alternative” but to ballot workers. The ballot will include advanced paramedics, emergency medical technicians, controllers and patient transport service professionals.

If workers vote to strike, this would be the first strike under the Haddington Road Agreement. The ballot will commence on 27 June and will be completed by three weeks.

Read: “Impossible response times” being demanded from paramedics>

Read: Ambulances spent 8,000 hours parked outside hospitals in April>

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