Service commits to new investment at WRC talks as planned strike is called off
More than 600 new staff will be recruited by the National Ambulance Service as part of an investment package agreed at the Workplace Relations Commission.
Strike action scheduled for next Wednesday has also been called off as a result of the deal.
SIPTU representatives met with the HSE and the Department of Health yesterday, with the union last night welcoming the agreement on staffing levels and compensation for loss of earnings.
SIPTU organiser Paul Bell said: “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.
“There is also a commitment to implement the recommendations outlined in the National Ambulance Service capacity review.
“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.
“Other issues resolved include securing compensation for loss of earnings for our members under the terms of the public service agreement. This is to be paid at the next available payroll.”
He added: “Our members are aware that this 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.
“However, the commitments provided by the government and the relevant state agencies this evening indicate that they are willing to play an active role in supporting ambulance professionals in developing a world class service.”