A GARDA was asked to drive an ambulance to Letterkenny General Hospital because no paramedic was available, a county councillor claimed today.Cllr Liam Blaney says the incident happened just a few hundred metres from the hospital.It follows another incident where the mother of a seriously ill child had to drive her own car to Letterkenny last November with a paramedic in the back seat because just one paramedic had gone to her home. After that incident the HSE insisted the advanced paramedic had taken that decision to get the mother to drive her car because of the state of the boy; and that another ambulance crew was en route at the time.Cllr Blaney said he has raised the latest incident with HSE.“This incident I have learned of was before Christmas. A person was injured in a road accident near the hospital,” he said today.“One paramedic attended the scene and a Garda who was also at the scene had to drive the ambulance back to the hospital.” Cllr Blaney said he was fearful that there aren’t enough ambulance crew in the county.“It just takes one or two staff to go off sick and then there isn’t enough cover,” said Cllr Blaney.“I’ve asked the HSE for a report on this incident and so far they haven’t been able to give them a response. I have provided them with the details I am aware of.“I am very very worried about what would happen in a case if this was in Fanad or Inishowen.”The HSE says it is investigating Cllr Blaney’s complaint. ‘GARDA HAD TO DRIVE AMBULANCE DUE TO STAFF SHORTAGE’ – COUNCILLOR was last modified: March 27th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:’GARDA HAD TO DRIVE AMBULANCE DUE TO STAFF SHORTAGE’ – COUNCILLORFanadLiam Blaney
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals He said he would not be influenced by the fact the Engineers and Architects Association was in the first group of employee unions that broke away and endorsed him in this year’s election. “That has nothing to do with this. I am willing to sit down and negotiate with them. I won’t demonize them, but I also won’t jeopardize the health of the city.” Hundreds of members of the EAA packed City Council chambers Tuesday and chanted, “Equal pay for equal work,” while their union leader announced plans to picket at LAX. “We just want the same deal that was given DWP workers, where many of my people are doing the same work,” said Robert Aquino, head of the 8,000-member EAA union whose members work in city building services and for city facilities including airports and harbors. Aquino said the last offer to his union was for no raise the first year, 2.5 percent the second and 2.5 percent the third. In the DWP deal negotiated when James Hahn was still mayor but approved under Villaraigosa, the 8,000 members of the DWP’s International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 18, got a five-year deal with guaranteed raises of at least 16.8 percent – and potentially as much as 28 percent. “My people would be losing money just based on the amount the consumer price index has gone up,” said Aquino, who said the EAA wants the same terms the DWP workers got, including 3.5 percent annual raises plus escalators that could boost those figures. The controversial DWP deal has raised heated questions about union-wage parity – as well as fears that it could set the stage for further labor showdowns. “Anyone could see this coming,” said Councilman Dennis Zine, who chairs the City Council’s Personnel Committee and opposed the DWP contract. “When we approved the DWP contract, we raised the bar for all the other unions.” Villaraigosa said a key difference between the DWP and EAA situations is that the utility workers had already accepted an offer and ratified a tentative agreement before he was mayor. “I agreed with the council action on that because I believed then, and I believe now, to not do so would have been an unfair labor practice. This is different. I’m involved now in the offer and the negotiations, and I have a responsibility to make sure we pay our workers a fair wage, but also that we are responsible to the taxpayers.” City Administrative Officer Bill Fujioka, however, said each union’s contract has to stand on its own. “We have made a fair offer to EAA, the same that we gave every other … unit in the city,” except police and firefighters, Fujioka said. “They should not look at the DWP contract as a precedent. It was a separate contract, just as this is.” Julie Butcher, general manager of Service Employees International Union, Local 347, already has demanded a review of citywide pay policies in the wake of the DWP deal. The SEIU earlier this year approved a contract giving a total of 6.25 percent in wage increases over three years – but no increase during the first year because city officials said they could not afford more. The union for 10,000 of the city’s lowest-paid employees also served notice that it expects to see compensation in the future for its willingness to accept the contract terms that the EAA now is rejecting. Butcher said Tuesday that she is planning to take a tougher stance in the next round of negotiations as a result of the DWP contract. “The DWP contract has forever changed union negotiations in the city. Employees are upset that one group is treated differently from other city workers. Either we are one city or we aren’t.” Police and firefighter unions also have upcoming contract negotiations with the city, though neither union has developed a formal proposal yet, officials said. “We are taking it all into consideration, but as of right now, we haven’t developed our proposal to submit to the city,” said Ted Nonini of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City. Bob Baker, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said no proposals have been drawn up yet, “but the DWP contract certainly raises expectations for our members.” Jack Kyser, chief economist of the Economic Development Corp., said the DWP contract should have served as a major warning, along with the power shown by unions in the special election this month. “The unions feel emboldened and, if you talk to people around the state, officials at all levels are concerned about the impact of salary talks this year,” Kyser said. Still, Councilman Jack Weiss, chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee, questioned the tactics being proposed by the EAA. “If their goal is to win friends and influence people, I’m not sure bothering people when they return home from Thanksgiving is the way to do it.” Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other city officials vowed Tuesday to stand their ground against demands from city unions for deals on par with the lucrative contract awarded two months ago to Department of Water and Power employees. In the first public sign that other city workers’ expectations have soared because of the DWP workers’ deal – raises up to 6 percent a year, depending on inflation – the Engineers and Architects Association announced plans for a massive demonstration at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday, one of the busiest travel days of the year, when disruptions could create havoc for tens of thousands of passengers. Leaders of other unions said the DWP deal is weighing heavily on their own plans for contract proposals and has prompted their members to expect pay increases matching those for utility workers, who already are the highest paid municipal employees. “It would be irresponsible of me, as chief executive of this city, to provide a raise anywhere near what they’re asking for at a time when the city is facing a $248 million shortfall,” Villaraigosa said.