Minister O’Brien welcomes Retained Fire Fighters vote to accept WRC proposals

Minister O’Brien welcomes Retained Fire Fighters vote to accept WRC proposals

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD has welcomed the decision of SIPTU Retained Firefighter members to accept the terms of the Workplace Relations Commission proposals aimed at resolving their industrial relations dispute.

Commenting on the result of the SIPTU ballot Minister O’Brien said: 

“I welcome the decision of the Retained Fire Fighters to accept the recommendations of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). I want to thank them and their representatives for their constructive engagement with the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA). I also want to thank the WRC for their efforts in bringing about a resolution to this dispute.” 

Discussions at the WRC were led, on behalf of the local authorities, by the LGMA and supported by representatives of the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) and officials from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in a supporting advisory role.

The WRC agreement proposals were built on the foundation of a previous Labour Court recommendation that provides for,

  • a minimum of 12 retained firefighters per station, with 6 available to respond,  
  • an increase in staff numbers of circa 20%  (approx. 400 new retained firefighters) to provide that minimum of 12 firefighters in all fire stations;  
  • 50 additional promotional positions created;  
  • structured time off, that would enable a retained firefighter to be away from their station fire-ground area for up to 24 weeks a year  
  • individual flexibility with regard to availability;  
  • flexibility to attend calls when scheduled on leave, if desired  

With the acceptance of the WRC proposals, new retained firefighter recruits will now enter service with guaranteed fixed minimum earnings of over €18,000 and will reach the top of the scale after 8 years.

Concluding, Minister O’Brien said:

“I have always acknowledged the challenges associated with both the recruitment and retention of retained fire personnel and I have consistently advocated for a better approach and I will continue to do so. Our firefighters are an invaluable frontline service staffed by very dedicated and selfless people, serving their communities around the clock. I will continue to support them in the work which they do.”

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