As previously advised the Union (Derek Best and the Union Lawyer Peter Cranney) met with the Fire Service in mediation on the matter of IFE Payments. The application lodged in the Employment Relations Authority has been referred to mediation.
In the course of the mediation, it was clear that the Fire Service were adamant that they would only pay the respective IFE Payments to those who have qualified by examination.
They were strongly opposed to paying the allowances to those who had obtained the qualification simply by cross-crediting Fire Service qualifications.
The argument essentially was that this was double dipping. The Fire Service already make a payment for those who obtain the S.O. qualification and to also receive the IFE payment for the same qualification is double dipping.
The Union does not see things as simple as this. There are additional requirements than simply being S.O. qualified in order to obtain an IFE qualification.
Given there was no agreement reached at the mediation the Parties are to continue discussion as to how the IFE allowance Payments will be made.