Ambulance Union Serves Strike Notice

SIPTU, which represents 1200 emergency ambulance personnel, has served strike notice on the Health Service Executive.

The strike action is due to start on 7 April. According to the union, staff will provide emergency cover. However, some 999 services may be affected if the action goes ahead.

The dispute arose when the HSE signed contracts with three private ambulance operators to provide a limited private ambulance service.

AdvertisementAccording to the HSE, the service will be used to transport non-emergency patients between hospitals and other health facilities. Unions say this is the start of the privatisation of the 999 ambulance service.

SIPTU says the HSE went behind the backs of the union in awarding the contracts. According to the union, a sub-committee made up of union and HSE personnel was put in place last year to discuss the introduction of a private service.

It says the contracts were awarded on 27 December last without an agreement being in place.