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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 22 January, 2020
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Frontline workers join new union

Hundreds of members have left established trade unions, including Siptu, to join a newly formed union headed by the Psychiatric Nurses’ Association.

Irish Nurses Organisation (INO) General Secretary Liam Doran (left) and Psychiatric Nurses Association General Secretary Des Kavanagh
Irish Nurses Organisation (INO) General Secretary Liam Doran (left) and Psychiatric Nurses Association General Secretary Des Kavanagh
Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/Press Association Images

FIREFIGHTERS AND PARAMEDICS are leaving established trade unions to form a new union in alliance with the Psychiatric Nurses’ Association.

More than 700 members of Dublin Fire Brigade have already signed up to join the alliance, according to the Press Association. Most of the personnel involved are leaving Siptu, the country’s largest union.

The leaders of the new union will be taking on issues such as protecting premium pay and prevention of, and compensation for, injuries sustained in work.

Des Kavanagh, general secretary of the Psychiatric Nurses Association, said that he expected around 2,500 new members to sign up within the next six weeks, the Irish Times reports.

According to RTÉ, ambulance personnel representative Derek O’Rourke criticised Siptu for showing a lack of leadership and failing to challenge the government.

Siptu President Jack O’Connor said that he understood that some members had been unhappy with the Croke Park Agreement, but added that “the issue was decided democratically by a secret ballot vote among our members”.

The new union has not yet been named.

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