Date Released: 03 July 2015
Members in Dublin Fire Brigade are to ballot for industrial/strike action in response to the refusal of the Chief Executive of Dublin City Council, Owen Keegan, to implement an agreement reached in May for the filling of outstanding firefighter vacancies, according to SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O’Brien.
He said: “The Chief Executive has subsequently decided that, instead of the open competition agreed, a confined competition within the four Dublin local authorities is to now take place. We understand that his own managers have told him that this is a flawed process which is not feasible and will lead to a delay in the filling of these safety critical posts.
“Currently Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) is seriously understaffed with the result that its ability to maintain services to the public is being compromised. DFB management has sought to mitigate these shortages by the inordinate use of overtime, which cannot be sustained, along with the cancelling of critical safety training courses. As a result, the safety of the public and of our members in DFB is being compromised because of unnecessary delays in the filling of these vital posts.
“The Chief Executive has ignored the concerns expressed by his Chief Fire Officer and members of his senior management team who have argued that his proposal will not deliver the required numbers to fill the vacancies. Furthermore, the actions now being taken by the Chief Executive contravene Circular Letter Fire 02/15 issued on behalf of environment minister, Alan Kelly, earlier this year which states that ‘ongoing recruitment processes for fire service positions will continue in the normal way’.
“Due to the inappropriate actions of the Chief Executive and his decision to renege on his agreement with SIPTU and other trade unions in DFB, we have no option but to act to protect the interests of our members and the public who rely on this critical emergency service. We are calling on him to honour in full the agreement reached in May and immediately commence the process of filling the outstanding firefighter posts or face industrial action.”