THE WIVES AND partners of Defence Forces members are organising a national protest to be held outside every barracks and army base today.
The protest is to highlight what the group describes as “the terrible pay and conditions that our loved ones have to endure on a daily basis”.
The protesters claim that the force is the only sector of public service as a whole that do not have access to the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court.
A spokeswoman for the group said: “Over 20% of Defence Forces enlisted personnel are in receipt of Family Income Support (FIS). No person who volunteers to serve their country should be allowed to have wages so poor that they need social welfare support.
“Families are losing homes due to repossession. Many members have missed payments on bills as a result of cuts so cannot access loans so money lenders are a reality.
“Borrowing is essential as in the Defence Forces as there is no option to make extra money or do over time. Hence, families find it impossible to save and keep on top of bills or other unexpected costs. The Defence Forces was traditionally seen as a steady career but now members cannot even get a mortgage without proving that they will be signing on after their five year contract.”