Brendan Ryan. Labour Party Spokesperson for Defence, met with senior committee members of the Defence Forces representative body, PDFORRA in Dublin to discuss defence forces pay, trade union recognition and recruitment & retention.
Ryan “In my role as Defence person spokesperson I have met many local people from Fingal who are current or former members of the Defence Forces. I have also met wives and partners of Defence Forces members. There are many issues affecting the Defence Forces but chief amongst them is an inability for members to meet the basic standards of living on their current levels of pay and conditions. The spiralling cost of rents has squeezed many people in our defence Forces into working poverty. I met with their representative body PDFORRA who are fighting for Trade Union recognition for their body. A recent ruling from the European Social Rights Committee ruled that while EU governments had powers to impose restrictions on the troops' right to organise, this did not mean they could operate a blanket ban on professional associations like trade unions to affiliate to national confederations. I fully support the rights of members of our Defence Forces to affiliate to a Trade Union and will pushing the Minister to allow this to take place as soon as possible”
Brendan Ryan with Martin Bright, Mark Keane & Paddy Doheny all of PDFORRA
Ryan “The Defence Forces has been an attractive recruiter in the past for many people from North County Dublin and it is vital this Government make it an attractive proposition again. I asked the Minister to look at the recruitment process in itself and I understand it’s under review. I have question marks over the psychometric testing for example. I also believe that if a person is healthy and in good shape they should still be eligible for recruitment. Overall fitness can improve whilst in the forces”