Soldiers providing Shannon flood relief get €1.85 an hour in overtime payments

Soldiers who have to come into barracks to provide support services get no extra allowance.

Soldiers providing Shannon flood relief get €1.85 an hour in overtime payments

Soldiers sandbagging flood-hit areas are getting just €1.85 per hour before tax in overtime payments and those who have to come into barracks to provide support services get no extra allowance.

The Aid to Civil Authority Allowance is paid to soldiers when they are called out by city or county councils to deal with emergencies, such as flooding, or heavy snowfalls.

The allowance for 24 hours is €44.78, working out at €1.85 an hour before tax.

Newly elected TD Cathal Berry, who is a former second in command of the elite Army Ranger Wing (ARW), said those drafted into barracks to provide logistical support and food for the troops get no overtime payment.

He said the "derisory overtime allowance" provided to those who are sandbagging "just shows the level of disrespect for the Defence Forces from institutional Ireland".

"Nobody would work for that kind of money. It’’s insulting, but they have no choice, they have to do it," Mr Berry said.

The main flooded areas are in Limerick, parts of Clare and around Athlone.

"A lot of soldiers working out of Limerick are living in the Clonmel area. They were sent to Limerick when the barracks closed in Clonmel. Many troops stationed in Athlone are living in areas where other barracks closed, such as Mullingar, Longford and Cavan. This is why people say they can’’t afford the fuel to travel to work," Mr Berry said.

"Not only are they not being paid a normal salary but it’’s costing them money to travel into work," he added.

PDForra, which represents enlisted personnel, has claimed that some soldiers are sleeping in their cars because they cannot afford to travel home at night.

Mr Berry has been campaigning to get proper pay and allowances for members of the Defence Forces, who are the lowest paid of all public servants.

He said there now seemed to be cross-party support to provide members of the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps with a proper level of core pay.

The Defence Forces get paid for a 40-hour week. On top of this, it is compulsory for members to do 24-hour duties on occasion. For this, they get €3 per hour for weekdays and €4 at weekends, before tax.

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