SIPTU firefighters to serve strike notice on Cork City Council in pay dispute

SIPTU members in the Cork Fire Service are to serve notice of industrial action, up to and including strike action, in relation to a dispute which has resulted from a refusal by management to pay back monies owed to staff.

SIPTU Organiser, Con Casey, revealed members in the Cork Fire Service voted overwhelmingly for industrial action up to and including strike action in a ballot conducted over the weekend.

"This dispute is to do with the failure by Cork City Council to honour an agreement to pay our members monies due to them under the Public Services Stability Agreement (PSSA)," he said.

“The monies that are owed relate to retrospective payments outstanding to our members following the implementation of consolidated pay scales as agreed under the PSSA.

"The imminent notice of industrial action does not relate to a wholly separate dispute concerning scheduled training courses which is to be adjudicated upon by the Workplace Relations Commission.

Mr Casey said the dispute also predates any attempts by management to enforce new data inputting arrangements on members.

"Attempts by the City Council to conflate these separate matters only serve to make the achievement of a resolution to the outstanding pay dispute all the more difficult.”

“Serving the public and keeping them safe is the number one priority of our members in the Cork Fire Service. They deeply regret any action which could give the impression they are not fully committed to their crucial and often dangerous profession. That is why they wish to see a speedy resolution to this dispute.

“However, they also cannot accept a situation where agreements that they entered into in good faith are not being respected. SIPTU representatives remain available to discuss a resolution to this pay dispute.”

City Hall said the actions of the firefighters are a cause of “serious concern” but stressed that it is available “at all times” to meet union representatives to discuss a resolution but insisted it has paid the firefighters all increases due but can not pay the back money until the firefighters “comply in full” with the terms of the Public Service Agreements.

- Digital Desk and Eoin English

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