Sinn Féin TD John Brady has today responded to the announcement that retained firefighters are to suspend their ongoing industrial strike action over pay and conditions following talks at the Workplace Relations Commission.
The suspension comes in response to recent negotiations between SIPTU and the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA), and an acknowledgment that some progress has been made in respect of minimum earnings.
Teachta Brady said:
“Following ten weeks of a rolling campaign of industrial strike action by retained firefighters, this represents the first meaningful response by the government and its representatives in the LGMA.
“With retained firefighters having been forced on to the picket line as a direct result of a crippling recruitment and retention crisis in the service brought on by poor pay and working conditions, there is a clear onus on the government to address the core issues at the heart of the dispute.
“While I acknowledge that we have witnessed some movement on the issue of minimum earnings, it will ultimately be the decision of the retained firefighters whether they decide to accept this or not.
“We are still awaiting the publication of the full recommendations from the WRC, which have yet to be seen. I have no doubt the members of the retained fire service are also eagerly awaiting to see the full content.
“For too long Minister Darragh O’Brien has been missing in action when it comes to trying find solutions to this crisis.
“He must now do right by retained firefighters, and act in the best interests of the retained fire service and its membership to bring this dispute to closure.”