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Kildare Today

with Clem Ryan

SIPTU In Dispute With Kildare County Council Regarding Recruitment & Retention Crisis Affecting Kildare's Retained Fire Service

Balloting has begun

Kildare County Council (KCC) has been advised by SIPTU, members in the Retained Fire Service for Industrial & Strike Action have commenced the balloting of members “as a result and/or refusal of management to honour its commitment to put forward proposals to address the issues giving rise to the recruitment and retention crisis affecting those employed” in the service.

SIPTU notified KCC on the 14th of October, a two week notice of intention to ballot members.

KCC has confirmed receipt of the notice.

According to SIPTU, these members had previously “sought to progress” the recruitment & retention crisis in the Retained Service by establishing the Fire Services National Oversight & Implementation Group (FSNOIG) Retained Fire Division.

It’s noted by SIPTU at previous meetings of FSNOIG, “the department invited rank and file firefighters” to participate in a survey, which the union notes was completed by Retained Firefighters in late 2021.

Following this, KCC identified “fixed incomes and structured time off as key issues” for those working within the service required to be “urgently resolved”.

On behalf of the service members, SIPTU added management within Kildare County Council failed “to table any meaningful proposals, contrary to their commitment to do so”.

In response to KFM, KCC noted “As this is a national issue, the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) has responded to the correspondence on behalf of the local government sector.”

KCC concluded its statement saying as it’s “a live industrial relations issue we have nothing further to add at this time.”

Balloting is expected to conclude on by the 25th November, when the outcome will be notified.

SIPTU has advised KFM if there is a vote in favour, the type of action to be taken will then be decided upon.

Adding any decisions will be made by a strategic committee.

In correspondence with KFM members noted, as of Wednesday, 2nd November, KCC had made “no meaningful movement” since notification of the intention to ballot.

Industrial Organiser with SIPTU, Noel Maguire, joined 'Kildare Today' on Thursday morning:

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