Firefighters may escape new cuts

Siptu, which represents firefighters, stayed in the talks on a new Croke Park agreement until the en

Siptu, which represents firefighters, stayed in the talks on a new Croke Park agreement until the en

Fri, Mar 1, 2013, 00:00

The Government has indicated that “the totality of the pay structure” of firefighters could be protected as part of ongoing reforms if the proposed new Croke Park agreement was ratified.

The suggestion was made in a confidential letter sent to the secretary of the Public Service Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions the Department of Public Expenditure earlier this week.

However, the letter said changes to overtime arrangements set out in the proposed Croke Park agreement would apply to full-time firefighters.

In the letter, the programme director of the reform and delivery office at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Paul Reid said: “I am writing to confirm that, subject to ratification of the Labour Relations Commission proposals on the extension to the Croke Park Agreement 2013 – 2016, the following has been agreed between the parties:

“In the context of the on-going reform process in the full-time fire service, which will generate significant savings, the totality of the pay structure in respect of full-time fire-fighters will not be affected by the proposals in this Agreement.

“However, this does not apply to the additional voluntary hours worked outside the rostered commitment. In such circumstances, the overtime rates that apply on a national basis in the sector will apply to full-time firefighters and the commitment in the agreement in respect of one unpaid overtime hour per week will also apply to full-time firefighters in respect of voluntary hours only.”

Siptu, which represents firefighters, stayed in the talks on a new Croke Park agreement until the end. However another group, the Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association, was outside the process and is opposed to the proposals.

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