Retained firefighters have voted to accept proposals issued by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) aimed at resolving a long running dispute over pay and conditions.
Retained firefighters staff all twelve of county Tipperary ‘s fire stations. Approximately 2,000 Retained firefighters are represented by SIPTU trade union and 63% voted to accept the deal.
Tipperary town FireFighter Pat Flanagan says the “Fire Service Personnel never wanted to put the public at any risk by taking industrial action.”
The senior Fire Fighter says he hopes the deal and promised changes will make the future of “the Retained Fire Service more attractive for new recruits and this would make the industrial action worth it in the long run.”
THE WRC intervened to broker the deal. Talks on other work place issues are to held in the coming months and the next public sector pay deal may also boost earnings.
New recruits will now enter the service with guaranteed minimum earnings of just over €18,000. For those with more than eight years of service guaranteed earnings will be over €21,000.
This income will be further increased by payments for call outs and community fire prevention work.
As part of the deal, there will also be a reduction in the requirement for members to be available from 48 weeks to 24 weeks, with an option to be available more frequently on a voluntary basis.
The government has committed to recruiting 400 additional fire fighters to enable this option.