Firemen back on strike as “insulting” ruling recommends retainer increase to over €11,000

Mitchelstown firemen Michael Curtin (left) and Verling Fitzgerald, back on the picket line following a "disappointing" Labour Court ruling. (Photo: Ellie O'Byrne)

Mitchelstown’s two longest-serving firemen, Michael Curtin and Verling Fitzgerald, were back on strike on Wednesday alongside the rest of the country’s retained fire service, following a SIPTU vote on a Labour Court recommendation to increase their annual retainer from €8,870  to €11,769.

The Labour Court recommended a 24% to 32.7% increase in the annual fee paid to retained fire personnel, but SIPTU members have rejected the deal. As of midnight Tuesday, fire services are back on strike at all stations nationwide, although they will still respond to life threatening emergency calls. 

Mr Curtin and Mr Fitzgerald have served 34 years and 30 years in Mitchelstown Fire Station respectively. On the picket on Wednesday, they said the Labour Court’s recommended increase was “insulting” and that they were disappointed to be back out on strike. 

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