Ambulance Staff Call For National Ballot

HSE ambulance staff in Cork and Kerry have called for a national ballot on industrial action, following weekend claims that the Health Service Executive is trying to privatise the country’s ambulance service.

The claim was made after an expression of interest notice was posted on the Government’s e-tender website last Friday. The HSE denies the union’s claim, saying it is simply formalising existing services around the country.

But 80 ambulance service staff who attended a meeting in Co Cork last night have called on SIPTU to hold a national ballot on industrial action because of plans to privatise the service without consultation with their members.

SIPTU’s Ted Kenny said the Director of the Ambulance Service, Frank McClintock, had committed to an additional 325 new posts nationally and funding for this should now be forthcoming.