Retained Firefighters have commenced strike action from this morning.
SIPTU Fire Fighters across the country voted by an overwhelming majority of 82% to 18% to reject the Labour Court recommendation which was proposed as ‘an interim solution’ to their dispute.
Hundreds of retained firefighters will picket outside fire stations in towns across the country.
SIPTU Divisional Organiser, Karan O Loughlin said: “Our members clearly believe that the recommendation does not go far enough in creating the first step to rebuild the retained fire service. Stations all over the country are short staffed with dangerously low levels of crewing on call out. The increases in the modest retainer given to these essential workers may look like something on a percentage basis but they are a high percentage of a small amount and will do nothing to attract the numbers of fire fighters that are required to address the issues.”
SIPTU also says the proposals to address the retention problem are also inadequate as people are retiring on a mandatory basis or just leaving because the job is traumatic and stressful and not worth it because of the high levels of commitment and availability that are required. These problems are exacerbated by the fact that most of the income earned is precarious and not guaranteed.