Talks are to take place at the Workplace Relations Commission tomorrow in a bid to end industrial action on the part of Retained Firefighters. The action is being taken as part campaign for a Government response to address the Recruitment and Retention Crisis in the Retained Fire Service which operates in most areas other than the large cities. Twelve fire stations in County Tipperary should have a staff complement of 125 but currently can only call on 113 Firefighters. This includes Carrick on Suir Station which as a one pump station should have 5 staff but actually has 10 which enables Firefighters to have a week on week off roster.
A Labour Court offer was rejected last month by the Retained Fire Fighters who are represented by SIPTU.
The Government wants the Union to accept the Labour Court offer of a higher retainer payment, expanded hours that are eligible for premium payment and a commitment to hire an additional 400 FireFighters to enable a greater degree of work/life balance. Minister O’Brien is also committing to advocating for an improvement in pay in the next round of talks in the Autumn for a new Public Sector Pay Deal.
The Local Government Management Agency represents the employer side and both parties have now confirmed their attendance at tomorrow’s talks which are due to begin at noon.