500 Ambulance staff belonging to the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA), including members covering Louth, held a protest outside Leinster House on Thursday July 4th.
The protest was to draw attention to their 24 strike which will be held on Friday 19 July.
Speaking in the Dáil today Teachta Gerry Adams called on the government to urge the HSE to recognise the PNA and to negotiate with the Union. Mr. Adams then joined the protestors in Kildare Street.
Teachta Adams said:
“I was pleased to join PNA staff today at their picket outside Leinster House. Under Article 40 of the Constitution citizens have the right to join a union of their choice. However, the HSE is refusing to negotiate with the Psychiatric Nurses Association. This is unacceptable.
PNA ambulance staff from across the state, including Louth, will be participating in another one-day strike on Friday July 19th. These include paramedics, advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians.
In the last seven months PNA staff have gone on strike seven times in pursuit of their demand for union recognition. This union is ten years old and its members reject any effort by the HSE to force them to join another union.
The government has a responsibility to defend the right of citizens to join a union and to have that union recognised in negotiations.
The Minister for Health should also instruct the HSE to respond positively to the invitations it has received from the Workplace Relations Commission to attend talks to solve this dispute.”
Photo is Gerry Adams TD with Peter Hughes General Secretary of PNA outside Leinster House