Ambulance staff at the HSE have sought to re-introduce allowances valued at about €2,500 per year which were abolished for new entrants recruited after 2012.
SIPTU, which represents staff at the national ambulance service has informed the Health Service Executive that it wants an immediate engagement aimed at ending the two-tier pay system in place in the national ambulance service.
The union said that staff recruited after 2012 were not paid either a cardiac allowance or a non-nursing Dublin travel allowance. The Dublin travel allowance was worth approximately €1,500 per year while the cardiac allowance was worth about €1,000 per year.
The then government scrapped allowances, including these and many others in 2012.
SIPTU said there were about 100 members not receiving the Dublin travel allowance and 320 not receiving the cardiac payment. Chief of Siptu’s Health Service division, Paul Bell said “This inequity in pay must cease and requires urgent attention in order to bring about pay equality across the pay scales applicable to the national ambulance service.”
The move by the union follows a deal agreed in principle last week with firefighters by Labour ministers in the former government Brendan Howlin and Alan Kelly in which they indicated they were prepared in certain circumstances to abolish the controversial two-tier pay structure for post-2012 entrants.
In the case of the fire-fighters deal, the value of allowances scrapped for new entrants in 2012 would be incorporated into revised pay scales in return for co-operation on productivity initiatives and a commitment to work within public service agreements.
Under the move about 90 firefighters who were appointed to work in local authorities since 2012 would in effect regain a €4,500 rent allowance which had been scrapped at that time.