The FOA trade union has welcomed the decision of the labour market insurance body to recognise that there is sufficient evidence of a causal link between firefighting and two types of cancer: bladder cancer and mesothelioma. The first is linked to exposure to soot and related chemicals (PAHs) and the second linked to exposure to asbestos. This means that firefighters affected by the two serious illnesses will be able to have them recognised as occupational injuries. FOA is not only pleased that its 10-year campaign has led to the change of practice but it also means that previously rejected
On September 7th, 2023, EPSU met with the European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) to discuss the pressing need for improved coordination of joint firefighting operations.
Retained firefighters organised by the SIPTU union have voted to end their dispute and accept an offer that includes measures on recruitment, pay and time off. The union hopes that these will help resolve serious staff shortages. Meanwhile, the Fórsa trade union is involved in disputes in health and local government. The union has agreed to suspend planned industrial action by health workers set to begin on 11 September. Fórsa will now continue negotiations in at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in relation to career progression for eight groups of health and social care professionals
Fórsa members across eight health and social care professions are set to take industrial action from 11 September in dispute over the career pathway review. Over 90% voted in favour of action, demonstrating the level of frustration with negotiations that began in 2018. The workers are employed in both the public and non-profit sectors and are demanding implementation of the promised career pathway review, meaningful discussions on clinical specialisms, advanced practice and management roles. The union argues that progress on these issues is an important factor in addressing the growing level
The SIPTU trade union is organising a series of meetings across all fire stations to assess the prospect of escalating strike action among retained firefighters and to ensure effective coordination of the action. This is in the lead up to a meeting of the union’s national committee on 9 August which will consider the results of the consultation and potential for further strikes. Over 2000 retained fire fighters are taking action to demand improved and more secure pay and conditions with more structured time off. The union has criticised both the employers and government for failing to engage
Heat waves and flooding are hitting Europe once more this summer and firefighters and emergency services are and will have to face the climate crisis in a context of chronical staff shortages and poor working conditions.
Asbestos agreement a step forward for firefighters, emergency services and waste workers but more and better legislation is needed
EPSU welcomes the deal that lowers the Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) to either 10,000 fibres/m3 including thin fibres or 2,000 fibres/m3 excluding thin fibres and includes a review clause for further lowering by 2028.
SIPTU members employed in the Retained Fire Service have suspended their industrial action following an intervention of the Labour Court that has decided that there is a basis for a full hearing on the dispute. This is due to take place on 26 June. The union foresees some tough discussions and says that members will not settle for anything other than an agreement which safeguards the functioning of this vital emergency service into the future. Meanwhile, Fórsa has served formal notice of industrial action in a dispute over the refusal of management in local government to establish a job
In the midst of a heatwave and droughts across Europe, firefighters from fifteen countries representing unions affiliated to the European Public Service Unions (EPSU) came together in Stockholm.