Sunday 28 May 2017

CorkHi13°| Lo

Cork Independent

News

‘We want change’

Thursday, 20th April, 2017 1:01am

Loved ones of those working for the Irish Defence Forces will protest outside Collins Barracks and the naval base in Haulbowline today.

A group called Wives and Partners of the Defence Forces (WPDF) is appealing for public solidarity and support at its first national peaceful protest taking place from 12-2pm today at every military barracks in the country – and the naval base.

WPDF is holding these demonstrations to highlight what it describes as “terrible pay and conditions” that their loved ones have to endure on a daily basis. The group was established because the Defence Forces are not afforded the same access as other public sector workers.

It says that family home repossession and borrowing from money lenders is a reality for some of Defence Forces workers.

A spokesperson for the group said: “They are not entitled to engage in protest, strike or industrial action in relation to all of the cuts and the deterioration of conditions that they, and indeed their families, have experienced. “As a result, we endeavour to act on their behalf as did our predecessor National Army Spouses Association (NASA), who must be recognised for their great work. “We are appealing for public solidarity and support. We want change, action and results. Not platitudes.”

The group envisage being the voice of their spouses and partners and endeavour to bring about change through lobbying and protesting during 2017. “This is to ensure that they are not only afforded recognition for the work they do but also given the basic respect that they should be entitled to,” added the WPDF spokesperson. As of going to print, the Department of Defence was unavailable for comment.

However, at the beginning of April, during Private Members’ Business in Dáil Éireann, the Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe, TD said during a motion on defence: “I also want to recognise that the Chief of Staff has raised with me the concerns brought to him by some serving members. I have reassured him that future remuneration of Defence Forces personnel will be dealt with within this process.”

WPDF has several points of concern and issues it wants highlighted, including the fact that the Irish Defence Forces is the only sector of public service as a whole that do not have access to the Labour Court. It said that more than 20 per cent of enlisted personnel are in receipt of Family Income Supplement.

“No person who volunteers to serve their country should be allowed to have wages so poor that they need social welfare support. This is a scandal of epic proportions and we feel the true details are not realised,” said the spokesperson.

Restructuring of the Defence Forces from three to two brigades has led to a number of soldiers having to move barracks. This has meant additional and extensive travel costs on families.

WPDF says that €20 is paid to workers for doing 24-hour duty, which is 16 hours of overtime. “Many members have missed payments on bills as a result of cuts so cannot access loans due to credit rating being impacted, so money lenders are a reality. Families are losing houses due to repossession,” said the spokesperson.

ePaper Service

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8
Desktop, Tablet & Smartphone friendly
Contributors

Title: Deputy Editor/News Editor

@bhayescurtin

Title: Journalist/Sub Editor

@louisecashell

Title: Journalist

Title: Style Columnist

Title: Beauty columnist

Title: Columnist, Our City Our Town

Title: Columnist, Food

Title: Motoring correspondent

@neilmbriscoe

Cookies on Cork Independent website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Cork Independent website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does Cork Independent use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We don't sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message