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Retained firefighters dispute back before WRC

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Unions and Government representatives are due before the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) today in a bid to resolve an ongoing pay row involving retained firefighters.

Last month, SIPTU described an offer from the Government to increase the retainer paid to the part-time firefighters as unacceptably low.

It followed a meeting with officials from the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

In a message to members of the Retained Firefighters’ Committee, SIPTU said that an initial offer that was made at the meeting was nowhere near the required amount to resolve the dispute.

“A second slightly improved offer made by management was also rejected out of hand by the negotiating committee,” the message stated.

It is understood the first offer was to increase the annual retainer by €300 and that the improved offer amounted to an increase of €750.

“Our negotiating committee feel extremely let down by the Minister and his Government in relation to the approach they are currently taking, which needs to be amended to avoid an escalation of this dispute,” said Brendan O’Brien, SIPTU Sector Organiser.

The union sought an urgent hearing at the WRC which will take place today.

In June last year, around 2,000 retained firefighters began a campaign of industrial action demanding better pay and conditions, with pickets placed across 200 retained fire stations.

In August 2023, the action was suspended after agreement was reached at the WRC which proposed increased retainer payments and restructured working hours.

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