Jennifer Whitmore TD

Staffing numbers must also be brought up to required levels 

Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore has welcomed the news that retained firefighters have voted to accept proposals from the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) to resolve their industrial dispute.

Deputy Whitmore said:

“It is positive to learn today that firefighters, through their union SIPTU, have voted to accept WRC proposals and bring an end to their dispute, which has lasted for more than two months. I know the decision to take industrial action in the first place was not easy, and every retained firefighter did so with the community’s concerns in mind.

“While it is most welcome that agreement has been reached to return to work, the Government cannot allow a repeat of this situation in the future. There are still issues with how our fire services are structured and further work will be required to resolve them.

“Speaking to members of the fire service in my Wicklow constituency today, I know the outcome of this stage of the process has come as a relief to them and their families. However, this deal will not bring back the fire service members who have left in recent years and a recruitment drive will be needed to increase staffing numbers to the required levels.

“A lot of good faith will need to be established between the parties in the future. In the meantime, the Government must deliver on the commitments made in the WRC and rebuild trust with retained firefighters.”

September 5, 2023

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