Dublin Firefighters may strike over vaccination delays

by Gazette Reporter
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Firefighters in Dublin may consider strike action, following delays in receiving their Covid-19 vaccinations.

SIPTU shop stewards are expected to meet tomorrow to decide whether to ballot their members for industrial action.

Dublin Fire Brigade SIPTU convener, Shane McGill, says that members want to know why they haven’t been vaccinated yet.

“We have to have a ballot, the first thing that will probably take place if they do go down that road is that we will inform our management or employer of our intention to ballot for industrial action, which could include anything up to and including a strike.”

Independent Councillor Christy Burke has said that he will put forward an emergency motion at tonight’s city council meeting on the issue.

Councillor Daithi Doolan (SF) said his party will also table a motion at tonight’s meeting.

Councillor Doolan said: “I was shocked to learn that Dublin Fire Brigade personnel have been denied Covid vaccination. Only a quarter of the personnel received the vaccination. 

“This is despite being identified as frontline healthcare workers under Government policy. It is wholly unacceptable that fire fighters who regularly put their lives on the line and are exposed to the Covid virus have been ignored by the HSE when it comes to vaccination programme.

“I have spoken to their SIPTU representatives and I have assured them that Sinn Féin will work with others to have this crisis addressed.

“Fire fighters are not looking for special treatment. They just want to receive their vaccinations as promised and outlined in the Government policy, Sequencing of COVID-19 Vaccination of Frontline Healthcare Workers.

“It is essential that this vaccination process starts before SIPTU are forced in to industrial action. This would be a disaster for the Government.

“We have tabled an Emergency Motion for tonight’s Dublin City Council meeting. We are urging the Lord Mayor to intervene and contact the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly and the HSE.

“Both must work together as a matter of urgency to deliver the vaccination of all Dublin’s fire fighters in line with Government policy. Nothing short of this will be acceptable to Dublin Fire Brigade or the public they protect.”

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