Independent TD for Laois Offaly Carol Nolan has said she warmly welcomes the news that the States almost 2000 retained firefighters will be asked to suspend their prolonged strike action following a significant breakthrough in negotiations between the Local Government Management Association and Siptu at the Workplace Relations Commission.
Deputy Nolan was speaking after Siptu confirmed that there had been a breakthrough in elements of the talks around increased guaranteed pay for new entrants which could see a new entrant guaranteed to earn approximately €18,500 in their first year. This move will also ensure that longer serving members at other grades will also receive increased remuneration:
“Following months of almost unprecedented action by our brave firefighters there is finally light at the end of the tunnel,” said Deputy Nolan.
“I want to commend Siptu and all of those who tirelessly advocated and persevered to get the firefighters where we are today, including their families and the public who were 100% behind them.”
“I am conscious however that this is far from the end of the process and that the deal has to be sanctioned by members. That is absolutely key. We cannot have a situation where the gains achieved today develop into a take it or leave it type scenario.”
“We must ensure that our retained firefighters get back to doing what they love and what they entered the service for; serving and protecting the community,” concluded Deputy Nolan.