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Firefighters may reject Croke Park deal despite 'sweeteners'

FIREFIGHTERS may reject the new Croke Park deal despite getting 'sweeteners' that haven't been afforded to nurses, gardai or paramedics.

Paramedics who arrive in an ambulance will be paid less than firefighters at the same scene on Sundays, if unions ratify the amendment to the deal.

However, the Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association (IFESA) said they won't accept any deal on premium payments that leaves other frontline workers facing cuts.

"Firefighters, no matter what union they're in, aren't scabs," said IFESA national secretary, John Kidd.

Paramedics have slammed the division in pay rates for emergency service workers and have planned the first phase of their scheduled protest.

Ambulance staff, firefighters, gardai and nurses will all have different terms for overtime and Saturday pay, if the new Croke Park deal goes through.

Firefighters' premium rates will stay at double time, under a standalone agreement with the Government but paramedics pay has been slashed.

Ambulance service NASRA have slammed the cuts. Government sources rejected suggestions the concessions for prison officers and firefighters were "sweeteners".