Oppose union busting: Victory to striking paramedics

Ambulance paramedics, advance paramedics and emergency medical technicians are striking today for union recognition and against the Government’s hard line union busting position.

NASRA and the PNA are the union of choice for a very substantial bloc of ambulance workers. Some 1,800 people
work in the national ambulance service, 600 of these workers want to be represented by NASRA. However, the Government and the HSE refuse to recognise this union.

The Government and the HSE do not want to be put under pressure to deal with the underfunding of the ambulance
service. The consequence is chronic overwork of ambulance staff. The national ambulance service is currently underresourced to the point of approximately 600 staff and 300 ambulances at a minimum.

Instead of confronting the issue, the Government prefers to overstretch ambulance staff, with pressure, threats and
suspensions from National Ambulance Service management being used to whip the service into shape.

According to the 2016 National Ambulance Service staff survey carried out by Ipsos-MRBI on behalf of the service,
48% of staff members had experienced bullying or harassment in the organisation in the previous two years.
Every worker in the service knows that a greatly disproportionate amount of that bullying and harassment
came from management.

On 28 January, members of SIPTU refused to pass pickets placed by their NASRA ambulance service colleagues. The
stance of these rank-and-file SIPTU ambulance staff should set the template for the entire trade union movement in
supporting this important fight for union recognition.

A victory in this strike is a victory for all who want a better health service and trade union rights. In reality the fight for
workers’ rights within the health service and the fight for an Irish national health service go hand in hand.

Socialist Party Stands For:

  • No to union busting. For immediate recognition of NASRA.
    Allow ambulance paramedics, advance paramedics and emergency
    medical technicians to be represented by the union of
    their choice.
  • Immediate reversal of all austerity measures. Invest in the necessary
    levels of staff and ambulances to ensure our service is adequately
    resourced. Tax the wealth and profits of the super-rich
    and big business.
  • A living wage for all – wage increases in line with increases of
    the cost of living.
    Unite and fight!
  •  For industrial action across the public sector to win pay
    restoration and a reversal of austerity.
  • For a secular, one-tier national health service, that is free at the
    point of us and that is democratically run by its workforce and
    service users .
  • Take all aspects of healthcare out of the hands of the profiteers
    – bring the private hospitals, healthcare and pharmaceutical
    companies into democratic public ownership.
    Oppose the profit system
  • Reject the EU fiscal rules and the capitalist rigged economy –
    they leave us with second class health care and poor pay and
  • Take the wealth and resources of society into democratic public
    ownership so that it can be invested into top quality public services
    and to meet our needs, not the needs of private profiteers.
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