SIPTU representatives have called for the introduction of a protocol outlining a uniform response by local authorities to extreme weather events. In particular, there should be proper remuneration for those who work extra days and hours during such crises, as has been agreed with workers in the health service over recent days. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said: “Our members in the local authorities worked tirelessly throughout Storm Emma to clear roadways and other public spaces in order to get the country moving again as quickly as possible. “They are also currently engaged in emergency repairs to damaged water infrastructure caused by the extreme weather event. In addition, our members in the fire services ensured that a full emergency fire, ambulance and rescue service was maintained throughout the red alert weather period.” He added: “The recent emergency highlights the requirement for the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to ensure that local authorities are properly resourced and staffed in order to respond to such extreme weather events in the future. There should also be an agreed protocol as to how staff will be remunerated for the extra work involved and for those who are unable to attend their employments due to adverse weather.”   “Unfortunately, it is predicted by scientists that such weather events will become more frequent in the years ahead due to climate change, resulting in our members being called upon to deal with the consequences on a more regular basis.”