SIPTU representatives have today (Wednesday, 31st March) written to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien to demand that a Covid-19 stakeholder forum for local authorities be established and convened without delay. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said: “Our members across city and county councils are extremely disappointed by the Department’s failure to establish a proper Covid-19 stakeholder forum. A forum, similar to those established in other Departments with strong trade union representation, will enable issues impacting on all city and county council frontline staff, including full time and retained firefighters, to be addressed in a transparent and timely manner.” “The announcement by the Government that they are now abandoning previous Covid-19 vaccination priority sequencing methodology to favour an age-based approach has caused concern. Our members believe this sudden change in policy may negatively impact on workers delivering frontline critical emergency services. SIPTU representatives are reiterating our call for the Government to recognise the risk that firefighters face and for them to be scheduled for vaccination accordingly.”