The staff of Cork City Fire Brigade are currently engaging in unofficial industrial action and are threatening to escalate to strikes if back money in the region of €500 per person per year is not paid.
They say that they are the last firefighters in the country not to be paid the increase, which amounts to about €10 per week. However, Cork City Council has said it will not pay the increases while the unofficial action takes place.
Cork City Fire Brigade representative Billy Walsh described it is a “Catch 22” situation, where staff are taking action because they are not being paid and City Hall is not paying them because they are taking action.
Staff are currently on a work-to-rule, not entering incident calls into the City Council’s system, not taking part in drills and training, and limiting overtime crewing. Firefighters nationwide took part in the same action earlier this year when the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government agreed that they would all be paid within eight weeks. Mr Walsh said that Cork City Council has now gone beyond that, leading to the latest action.