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We deserve to have a functioning fire service – one that respects retained firefighters and the valuable work they do

The Government must outline what steps it will take to avert strike action by retained firefighters if Labour Court proposals to settle the dispute are rejected by SIPTU members, according to Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore.

“While I do not wish to pre-empt the outcome of the ballot this week, all the indications are that retained firefighters will accept SIPTU’s advice to reject the Labour Court recommendations. This could lead to a resumption of suspended strike action within days.

“The feedback I have received is that the firefighters are disappointed with the offer on the table, which they feel does not address the low retainer they are paid or the precarious elements of their working structure, such as call-out payments.

“We are talking about workers who provide a life and death service. In my Wicklow constituency, for instance, we would not have a fire service without the commitment and dedication of retained firefighters.

“We deserve to have a functioning fire service around the country – one that respects the role of retained firefighters and the valuable work they do.

“With the Dáil about to go into recess for the next two months, the Government urgently needs a plan B. It must immediatey re-engage with the industrial relations process if the Labour Court’s recommendations are rejected by these essential workers.”

July 13, 2023

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