Press Release

SIPTU says lack of preparation for escalation in fire service dispute endangers public

Date Released: 08 June 2023

SIPTU representatives have called on the Government and local authorities to outline the measures that will be taken to ensure public safety when the industrial action by union members in the Retained Fire Service escalates to strike action next week.

SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, Karan O Loughlin, said: “Unfortunately, the Government and Local Authority management seem intent on allowing the ongoing industrial action by our members in the Retained Fire Service to escalate next week into rolling strike action across the country.


“Our members in the retained fire service are reporting that, in most counties, management has no specific contingency plans in place and are not undertaking any information campaigns to inform the public of the likely impact of targeted strike action that will commence next Monday (13th June).  Local authorities have a responsibility to advise the public that there will be disruption to this crucial emergency service and put in place plans to alleviate its impact where possible.”


She added: “Retained Firefighters are striking to ensure that a government report on the future of the service is implemented in full in order to resolve the recruitment and retention crisis that threatens to collapse this essential community resource. Our members have sought a reasonable resolution to this dispute, and it is up to national and local government to inform the public about the consequences of the industrial action for which they are responsible.”


SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said: “SIPTU members in the Retained Fire Service are serious and will escalate their industrial action until the measures that are necessary to safeguard the future operation of this vital resource are implemented.


“SIPTU strike committees are organised in every county across the country. They have agreed that their action will escalate from 13th June with rolling strikes. If they continue to be met with intransigence from their employers, they will further escalate their industrial action to all-out strike action, which will close every retained fire station in the country, from Monday, 20th June.”


He added: “As always, SIPTU representatives are available to engage in meaningful dialogue on the outstanding issues with the employers of our members at all times.”


The Retained Fire Service is a 2,000 strong part-time workforce which provides fire and first responder emergency services across the country apart from county Dublin, Cork city and Galway city where fulltime fire services operate.

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