SIPTU Retained Firefighters to begin industrial action on 6th June.
SIPTU members employed as Retained Fire Services firefighters by local authorities across the country will begin a campaign of industrial action on 6th June, in a dispute resulting from the failure of management to adequately address a worsening recruitment and retention crisis in the service.
SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said: “The campaign of industrial action will commence on 6th June with members restricting their work to only responding to emergency calls. This will involve non-cooperation with training, drills and radio calls through the emergency centres being replaced by the use of mobile calls to fire service management.
“On 13th June a series of rolling work stoppages are scheduled to commence with the action set to escalate to an all-out strike on 20th June if the dispute has not been resolved.”
He added: “Almost 2000 Retained Fire Service members are organised in SIPTU across 200 fire stations nationally. They are required to provide 24/7 emergency response and restrict their movement, at all times while on call, to within typically five minutes travel time of their fire station.
“Many firefighters are unable to take their leave entitlements due to staff shortages and they have also seen their incomes drastically reduced due to reductions in call outs over the last number of years and other restrictions imposed by the Fire Service.”
SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, Karan O Loughlin, said: “Firefighters first commitment is to serving their communities and protecting those in danger. It is an extremely difficult decision for them to commit to such a campaign of industrial action but they are left with no alternative if they are to protect the service and public safety into the future.
“The SIPTU Negotiating Committee who attended talks with management on resolving the recruitment and retention crisis in the service, considered that proposals presented to it fell short of the minimum required to address the issue. The proposals also fall short of recommendations from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in relation to addressing structured pay in the service.”
She added: “This situation left the SIPTU National Retained Firefighters Committee, which met on Friday (19th May), with no alternative but to commence a campaign of industrial action following a ballot of SIPTU members in January which returned an overwhelming majority in favour of strike action.”