Firefighters to meet city officials at WRC amid industrial relations dispute

Firefighters to meet city officials at WRC amid industrial relations dispute
Firefighters Michael Sisk, Finbarr Sisk, Will Crowley, with his 3 year old son Ethan and Richard O'Donovan, with their colleagues, protesting at City Hall in recent weeks.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

CORK city firefighters are to meet with city officials tomorrow in a bid to solve the ongoing dispute about back pay.

City Hall welcomed the confirmation from the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) that it is to arrange a conciliation conference tomorrow, Friday, July 13, to consider the industrial relations issues relating to the firefighters.

It comes just days after the firefighters voted to serve notice of industrial action, currently scheduled for July 25. This action could include an all-out strike of members.

The dispute is linked to pay adjustments which were provided for in the Public Sector Stability Agreement 2018-2020.

Firefighters have been paid the increases agreed under the PSA. However, they have not received outstanding back pay which has been paid to firefighters in other districts.

Cork City Council say that the current issues, including the non-payment of back pay, originate from the non-engagement by fire personnel in safety training over an extended period.

Firefighter union reps in Cork maintain the issues are unrelated.

The dispute came to a head in recent weeks when the firefighters carried out unofficial industrial action including a protest of more than 50 members on the steps of City Hall.

Tomorrow's WRC conciliation follows a request by City Hall management to expedite the conciliation process amid strike fears.

A statement from City Hall said, "Cork City Council looks forward to productively engaging with the matters at issue and remains committed to the use of the established industrial relations machinery of the State to bring conclusion to same."

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