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SIPTU retained firefighters set to ballot for industrial action

The news comes a day after full-time firefighters also decided to ballot.

File photo
File photo
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

SIPTU RETAINED FIREFIGHTERS are to ballot for industrial action in response to cuts to fire services that have been proposed by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.

The decision was taken after retained firefighters from all 34 fire services across the country endorsed the position of their national committee.

The decision comes a day after full-time firefighters under SIPTU announced that they too were to ballot for industrial action.

Today’s decision was taken in response to the changes to working practices as contained in the ‘Keeping Communities Safe‘ policy document, published by the Department of the Environment.

The chairperson of the National Retained Fire Service, John Gavigan, said this of the document, which was launched today:

In launching this policy document today, the Department of the Environment is displaying a total disregard for the lives of fire fighters. This policy will lead to further reductions in services, particularly in rural areas, and the closure of fire stations. This is following a similar policy of closures of rural post offices and Garda stations.
This policy document has been drawn up by an anonymous group of people within the Fire Service National Management Body with the singular objective of cutting costs. The implications of these measures will be to fundamentally undermine the locally based fire and emergency services which have served the Irish public over generations.

Proposals include a reduction of 20 per cent in the manning of fire engines and the replacement of certain automatic fire calls with manual calls.

SIPTU sector organiser Michael Wall said that these changes would “increase the risk to fire fighters and the general public.”

In-full: Keeping Communities Safe – A Framework for Fire Safety in Ireland >

Read: SIPTU firefighters set to ballot for industrial action >

About the author:

Paul Hyland

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