Wadding 'doles' out under fire fire fighters
The retainer fees of County Wexford's firemen need to be protected from consideration by the Department of Social Protection, according to Cllr Deirdre Wadding.
Cllr Wadding said: 'Some fire fighters who have put their lives on the line for the community are surviving on less than minimum wage and are having to leave jobs that would not allow them the flexibility to be on call. They are then penalised by the Department of Social Protection because of the retainer. We urge the new government to end this penury for our frontline workers.'
Cllr Wadding said there is a gap between fire fighters who have three years stamps and those who have come in. 'They are penalised for being in the fire service.'
Cllr Malcolm Byrne said he supported the motion in principal. He said there are a number of categories of workers, county councillors included, who could be classified as being on a retainer. 'If you single out one category of workers it's a difficult argument to make. I am very supportive of fire fighters but I am worried about singling out one group.'
Director of Services John Carley said this was a matter for the Department of Social Protection, adding that fire fighters know the condition of their employment when they start the job. Mr Carley said they deserve praise for the work they do. The motion was carried.