Statement from Senator Marie Sherlock on retained firefighters

16 June 2023

Labour workers’ rights spokesperson Marie Sherlock has urged meaningful engagement from Government with retained firefighters in the Labour Court to avoid an all out strike on Tuesday.

Senator Sherlock said:

“It’s welcome news that the parties will meet in the Labour Court in Monday. There is a lot riding on the negotiations given the sheer depth of frustration amongst retained firefighters.

“For years, the service has been under valued and under resourced. Staffing levels are in crisis, and we are in a situation where the service may never recover should firefighters decide to mass resign.

“Significant progress has to be made on Monday in order to stave off the all out strike on Tuesday. It would be an appalling inditement of the Government’s approach if these talks were to fail.

“We in Labour are demanding Dáil and Seanad debates on firefighters terms, conditions and pay next week to hold Minister O’Brien’s feet to the fire on this issue.

“It’s time for the Minister to buck up and realise the value of these workers in communities nationwide. Retained firefighters are highly skilled and crucial in protecting people. Government must engage in good faith in these negotiations. Solutions must be found.”

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