Ambulance strike cancelled following 'concrete guarantees' on recruitment and funding for service
Published 05/08/2016 | 21:31
A planned strike at the National Ambulance Service has been called off.
Last ditch talks between Siptu officials and HSE management to avert next week's all-out strike have reportedly proved successful.
The strike action had been planned for next Wednesday but has now been cancelled following discussions at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).
SIPTU's Paul Bell said that "concrete guarantees" on staffing levels and compensation for loss of earnings had been reached at the talks.
"Our members have secured commitments for the recruitment of 150 new emergency technicians for deployment into the Intermediate Care Service over a two-year period," he said.
"This confirms that 461 paramedics will be recruited on a phased basis over a five-year period which will entail recruiting in excess of 100 paramedics each year on an incremental basis."
Bell added that the negotiations had been "at times difficult" for union members but that they "remained united" throughout.
“Our members are aware that today marks merely the beginning of the journey towards securing the future of a public ambulance service that is fully funded, fit for purpose and enjoys public confidence," he said.
The union served strike notice last month on foot of a recent ballot, in which members in the NAS voted 92pc to 8pc in favour of industrial action, up to and including strike action.
Earlier today, a union for Dublin Bus employees voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action after rejecting an 8pc pay rise.
The vote result has been revealed after the drivers rejected a Labour Court recommendation that they get an 8.25pc increase over five years, or 2.75pc a year, up to January 2018.
They want an increase equal to recently won by tram drivers, worth 3.8pc a year.