Staffing levels will be a priority for the negotiations over a new agreement in the ambulance sector. The FNV trade union has been organising a series of work-to-rule actions in the sector to highlight the urgent problem of understaffing. While extra funding for the service was agreed by the government last year, the union launched the protests as there was no guarantee that enough would be allocated to ensuring increased recruitment to the sector. The FNV wants to see improvements to pay and training to tackle staffing shortages, with many workers attracted to better pay and working time arrangements in other parts of the health service.
Negotiations start for collective agreement for ambulance staff
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The latest stage of the long-running conflict between the FNV trade union and the ambulance service will see ambulance employees working to rule from 8am on 24 September. This means that workers will stick strictly to the collective agreement and so there will be no overtime, all breaks will be taken and no additional tasks will be taken on. The union has set out demands for higher pay and action to reduce workloads but the employers failed to respond to these by the union's 29 August deadline. The FNV argues strongly that the sector faces a major staffing problem and that action on pay and
(July 2016) Ambulance workers, members of the SIPTU union, have overwhelmingly voted in favour of industrial action. The union reports that its members have been through significant restructuring in recent years, without any recognition of this by management. The large majority in favour of action is in response of the failure of management to engage in negotations over implementation of an intermediate care service and an annualised hours system. Read more at SIPTU.