The offer, as approved by the Fire Service Commission, has been fully considered by the Union Committee. Full details of the offer, including the specific proposed wording are attached.

The Union Committee has unanimously resolved to reject the offer.

Most items in the offer are self-explanatory. However, some clarification follows:

a) Point (e) Sick Leave
The three principal changes are:

  • Changing Sick Leave entitlements from Consecutive Days (28 per year) to Working Days (12 per year – rising to 14 per year after 14 year’s service).
  • Absence for a part-day to be deducted on a pro rata rate basis.
  • Accumulation of Sick Leave to 180 days.

Clearly this is potentially a significant reduction in Sick Leave entitlement.

b) Allowances/Payments Removed

Point (g)-Shift Allowance for Overtime
Point (i)-Payment of Bank Fees/Cheques

c) Point (j)-Incorporation of SM.S. Principles into Part 2 of the Collective Agreement with significant removals from that presently included e.g. Consultation and Partnership.

d) Point (k)-Removal of Trainees from coverage of the Collective Agreement

This has the effect of removing the ability of the Union to negotiate wages and conditions of employment for Trainees and would create significant difficulties in representing Trainees either individually or collectively in any Dispute that may arise.

For the Fire Service to propose that they should have a completely free hand to impose wages (if any?) and whatever conditions on the Union’s most vulnerable members is completely unacceptable.

As a consequence of the rejection of the offer, the Committee is finalizing details of Industrial Action. The Action to be initially implemented will allow an escalation of the impact of the Action if that is necessary.

Details, including the commencement date of the intended Action, will be advised to members early next week.

Please contact Committee members if any further clarification is required.

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