herald

Friday 2 December 2016

Fire Brigade to begin industrial action over failure to fill 70 jobs

Dublin Fire Brigade
Dublin Fire Brigade

Dublin Fire Brigade crews have said reductions in services caused by their industrial action next month are already happening on a regular basis because of the failure of Dublin City Council (DCC) to fill 70 jobs.

Firefighters and paramedics aligned to Siptu have told Dublin City Council bosses they will begin industrial action early next month over staffing shortages.

voluntary

They will refuse to do voluntary overtime between 9am and 6pm on October 5, 6, 7 and 9 to highlight how under-staffed Dublin Fire Brigade is.

"The service is already compromised, but this is being masked by unsustainable levels of voluntary overtime," said Siptu's Brendan O'Brien.

"In Donnybrook Fire Station last Friday the service was reduced by 50pc, even though there were 22 firefighters on overtime - the public need to know this.

"Services are already being disrupted, but not by our actions - our actions will shine a spotlight on the problem."

Siptu said there had been an agreement with DCC in May on the issue, but that this had broken down.

"We shook hands on an agreement in May in which DCC said it would hold an open competition to fill all the vacancies, but it reneged on that and then said it would fill vacancies but they would not tell us by how many," said Mr O'Brien.

"We feel we have been mugged already this year on this issue, and our industrial action will continue until such time as there is agreement to fill all the vacancies.

"We are not looking for a penny in this. This is a health and safety issue. We want a fire service that is fit for the public and fit for the staff.

progress

DCC confirmed it had been served with notice of industrial action by Siptu.

"We consider this action is both premature and unwarranted as talks are still ongoing in the LRC (Labour Relations Commission) where considerable progress has been made," said a DCC spokeswoman.

"DCC would ask that the trade unions withdraw the threat of industrial action and re-engage with the LRC as a matter of urgency."

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