Wednesday 13th July 2022: An advanced paramedic settled his High Court challenge to disciplinary action and suspension arising out of his participation in a work to rule by his union in October 2018.
The case was scheduled to be heard in the High Court over two days, but the court was informed on Monday by counsel for the NASRA member and counsel for the HSE that the case was to be struck out with the worker’s legal costs to be paid by the HSE.
Welcoming the development, Peter Hughes, General Secretary of the Psychiatric Nurses Association said the PNA again affirmed the right of all of its members in the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA ) branch of the PNA to engage in official industrial action.
In February the High Court put a stay on the Health Service Executive (HSE) disciplinary hearing involving the paramedic who complained that he was suspended from work for more than three years.
The suspension arose from his involvement in an industrial action by NASRA in pursuit of its demand that the HSE recognise it as a branch of the PNA trade union.
It was the NASRA member’s case that he had participated in October 2018 in official industrial action authorised by his trade union, the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA), which is a branch of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA).
The PNA represented the member from 2018 throughout the investigation, and proceedings were brought on the paramedic’s behalf by the PNA’s solicitor Kirsty Kavanagh.
In February counsel for the paramedic, Helen Callanan SC (with William Maher BL), told the High Court that her client would be at risk of dismissal if the disciplinary hearing was to proceed. Mr Justice Meenan granted a stay on the disciplinary process.
In affidavits, the paramedic said that he joined the dispute with his fellow PNA-NASRA members and had worked within the confinements and remit of the industrial action and would “never have put anyone’s health or welfare at risk”.
He said the work-to-rule action involved standing down vehicles that did not comply with the daily inspections or with health and safety legislation and various other safety conditions. He said that he was very grateful to be returning to the work he loved with valued colleagues.
Media Contact: Derek Cunningham 086-2430535