Retained firefighters in Tipperary and across the country are set to escalate their industrial action in the continuing dispute over a recruitment and retention crisis in the service.
Members of the retained service are part-time firefighters who are paid an annual retainer for being on-call.
The SIPTU Union, which represents around 2,000 retained firefighters across 200 stations around the country, has now informed management that, as of 8am this Saturday, 12 August, all stations will “go dark” and will have no internal communications other than life saving information.
The SIPTU union said the escalation was due to failure by the Government to respond to what it called their legitimate concerns.
Further escalations are planned as of Saturday August 19th if talks are not resumed. At present Stations around the country are already closed fifty per cent of the time because of the refusal by management to agree adequate cover arrangements with SIPTU representatives.
Today fire stations in Tipperary town, Clonmel, Newport, Borrisokane, Cloughjordan and Nenagh are off call as a form of industrial action – emergency calls will be handled by the six other fire stations in County Tipperary if management deem them to be “life threatening” situations. SIPTU says the Government has “effectively abandoned the retained fire service, leaving fire fighters at the side of the road in an effort to break their dispute.” Sinn Fein is calling on Minister Darragh O’Brien to intervene and find a resolution to the dispute.