Date Released: 26 August 2015
SIPTU members in Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) have voted for industrial action, up to and including strike action, in a dispute provoked by a decision of the Chief Executive of Dublin City Council to renege on an agreement on recruiting new firefighters.
In the ballot, which was counted on Tuesday (25th August) in Liberty Hall, Dublin, 96% voted for industrial action and 87% voted for strike action.
SIPTU DFB Convener, Gerry Harris, said: “As a result of the reneging on an agreement reached in May, concerning the recruitment of new firefighters, our members in DFB have been exposed by management to increased and unacceptable levels of risk.”
He added: “Our members in DFB share the concerns expressed by the Chief Fire Officer and Dublin City Council senior management that the changed recruitment process will not deliver the required numbers and will delay the employment of new firefighters.
“Meanwhile, the public and firefighters will continue to be exposed to increased levels of risk due to the severe understaffing in DFB. This has led to unsustainable levels of overtime and the cancellation of safety critical training being used by management to mitigate staff shortages.”
SIPTU Sector Organiser, Brendan O’Brien, said: "A meeting of the DFB SIPTU strike committee will now be convened to consider the outcome of the ballot and the union will decide which course of action is to be undertaken to bring this dispute to a speedy resolution.”
The Dublin Fire Brigade is currently estimated to be 70 firefighters under strength. By January 2016 this figure is expected to have risen to over 100 meaning the Brigade will be operating with between 10% and 15% less than the required level of firefighters to meet safety standards.