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North Tipperary Firefighters Bound For Labour Relations Commission

319851_9119-copyLocal firefighters have referred their ongoing wages dispute with the North Tipperary County Council to the Labour Relations Commission and could yet resort to strike action.

Local representatives this week informed a meeting of North Tipperary Co Council of their concern that the dispute, which first began last year, had not as yet been resolved. The real dispute is understood to centre around disagreements over changes in work practices. County Manager Mr.Terry Ó Niadh said the matter is unresolved simply because North Tipperary’s firefighters are refusing to enter into direct discussions with his Councils representatives.

Mr Ó Niadh stated:-

“The remedy lies in the hands of the firefighters themselves, We would be more than happy at this stage to sit down with all concerned.”

However, the firefighters have referred the matter to the Labour Relations Commission, which is expected to hear their case next month. Mr Ó Niadh said the council is prepared to go to the commission with the firefighters.
Last September a group of firemen staged a protest here in Thurles over changes to their agreed work practice. Those involved complained about the introduction of new rostering, or staffing arrangements and claimed that pay entitlements, due to them, were being withheld because of this matter.

At the time, North Tipperary Co Council said it had been introducing a number of workplace changes and that staff affected were asked to nominate representatives to sit on a working group to consider certain implementation issues. North Tipperary Co Council said the firefighters would not cooperate with the working group, and the council duly informed the Performance Verification Group that North Tipperary’s firefighters were in breach of agreements outlined by Social Partnership and signed off  in the  ‘Towards 2016 Agreement’ document.

The Performance Verification Group replied by not sanctioning a wage increase that was due to the firefighters in March of last year.

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