The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) has confirmed that UNISON members are planning a day of industrial action on Saturday 30th November.
A spokesperson for NIAS said:
‘NIAS has received notification from UNISON of their intention to take industrial action, short of a strike, on Saturday 30th November 2019 for 24 hours, commencing at 07:00.
‘The action will consist of an overtime ban.
‘Pressures on the ambulance service throughout the year are widely reported, we anticipate that 30th November will be a challenge.
‘Accordingly, we will prioritise immediately life-threatening calls to ensure they receive the quickest response and would ask for patience from those who may call us as a result of less serious illness or injury.
‘If you believe you require an ambulance do not hesitate to dial 999 immediately.
‘Alternatively, consider other options open to you, including self-care; seeking pharmacy advice or self-presentation at Emergency Departments.
‘By so doing, you will help keep ambulances free for emergencies, particularly during this challenging period.
‘NIAS will, throughout the period of industrial action across the HSC, post regular updates on our website and social media channels.
‘Staff on duty, across the Service, will work tirelessly throughout the day to provide the most timely response to address the needs of all who require our help.
‘In advance, we would take this opportunity to thank you for your patience over this weekend and any other periods of industrial action over the winter period, which in itself is a particularly busy time for NIAS and other colleagues across the HSC system’.
Commenting on the continuing industrial action in Northern Ireland, UNISON Regional Secretary, Patricia McKeown said:
“Today support staff in the South Eastern HSC Trust and drivers in the Belfast HSC Trust will continue to take a stand for the health service and the public.
“The fight for justice on both pay and staffing levels continues.
“Yesterday’s announcement by the Department of Health on our crisis waiting lists show the devastating consequences of years of austerity within our health service and poor workforce planning.
“UNISON members are taking a stand against this staffing crisis through their industrial action.
“Instead of spending hundreds of millions of pounds of public money on increasingly expensive agency staff, those who run the health service need to invest in recruiting and retaining permanent staff through achieving pay parity.”
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