SIPTU retained firefighters are seeking an urgent meeting at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) concerning the failure of the Government to follow through on a commitment for a significant second increase to their retainer payment.  

SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said: “Following a meeting with local government and Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage officials today (Friday, 31st May) concerning a second increase in the retainer, the management side made an unacceptably low initial offer, which was nowhere near the required amount to resolve the dispute. The SIPTU Retained Firefighter Negotiating Committee also rejected a second slightly improved offer made by management.

He added: “The management side advised that they were not in a position to make any further offers. Our Negotiating Committee feel extremely let down by the Minister of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien and the Government concerning the approach they are currently taking, which needs to be amended to avoid an escalation of this dispute.”

SIPTU Public Administration and Community Divisional, Karan O Loughlin, said: “In line with the agreed procedures, given that this dispute falls under the jurisdiction of a WRC Agreement reached on these issues last year, it has been decided by the parties to refer the issue of the second increase in the retainer to the WRC and we have sought an urgent hearing.”

She added: “In the meantime, we are scheduling an urgent meeting of the National Retained Firefighters Committee for next week. Our members in the Retained Fire Service have put their faith in the Minister’s word and while there is acknowledgement that progress was made with aspects of the WRC Agreement, they await his support on this final piece.”