Mattie McGrath TD has heavily criticised National Ambulance Service (NAS) management and the HSE for the “appalling manner” in which they have treated Ambulance Staff at Our Lady’s Hospital Cashel.
Deputy McGrath was speaking after it was revealed that the staff have been told there will be a “unilateral implementation” of a new roster agreement despite the protests about the dangers downgrading will bring: “Despite the best efforts of the ambulance staff to negotiate a fair and flexible level of roster cover the management in NAS and the HSE have decided to respond with intimidation tactics. They have been instructed that if they fail to submit to the exact roster requirements being sought by management by April 21st, then NAS will serve notice to SIPTU under the Haddington Road Agreement and introduce a 9 person roster that matches the so called ‘activity level in Cashel’ within 3 weeks (21 days) of 21st April. This effectively means that by the May 12th Cashel ambulance service and the area it serves will only have one ambulance at its disposal. This is completely unacceptable and reveals the absolute hypocrisy of the Minister for Health who told me to my face in the Dáil only a matter of weeks ago that there were no plans to downgrade the service at Cashel.” Deputy McGrath said he would continue to stand by the hospital staff.