WRC to seek resolution to ambulance service dispute

Siptu officials and health management will this morning see if the Workplace Relations Commission can find a resolution to the national ambulance service dispute which is due to lead to strike action next Wednesday.

What were described as lengthy discussions took place yesterday between union officials and representatives of both the Department of Health and HSE.

However, according to Siptu health division organiser, Paul Bell: “Unfortunately, these discussions failed to result in a breakthrough on the key issues of concern to our members in this dispute, specifically the recruitment of intermediate care vehicle personnel and emergency ambulance professionals.

“With strike action by our members imminent, it would seem that management is now focused on the issues in dispute. However, its lack of urgency up to this point has resulted in a lack confidence among our members that it is willing to deliver the solutions needed to avert the implementation of all-out strike action from next Wednesday.”

The Siptu official said his union’s representatives will enter the talks in the Workplace Relations Commission with a “constructive attitude aimed at securing solutions to this dispute”.

“However, there is still much to be agreed between our members and management if an all-out strike is to be averted,” he added.

Meanwhile, follows progress in talks with HSE management, Siptu has suspended a ballot for strike action by support staff in a dispute over, what it had described as, the refusal of health officials to set a date for the reintroduction of a job evaluation scheme.


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