- CLOSING RANKS Irish Defence Forces soldiers need urgent engagement on contract terms, reps warn - 05 Oct 22

SENIOR NCOs and Sergeants in the Defence Forces should be given greater security of tenure and better pay, a conference has heard.

PDFORRA, which represents Ireland’s soldiers, has raised the issue at an event which got underway yesterday.

The association, which has around 6,500 members in the army, naval service, and air corps, has called for urgent engagement “on the issue of contract terms for personnel who enlisted since 1994 and are Sergeants, Senior NCOs (non-commissioned officers) and Technicians”.

The conference heard that numbers in the Defence Forces are approximately 1,500 below establishment levels and around 3,500 below what the Commission on the Future of the Defence Forces recommended in their report, which was published earlier this year.

Mark Keane, President of PDFORRA, explained: “While we welcome the movements made relatively recently by Minister Simon Coveney in extending the contract terms for Privates and Corporals who enlisted since 1994, our association is calling for urgent engagement on those other ranks who have yet to receive security on their contract terms.

“Presently, we have a significantly high number of vacancies at Sergeant and equivalent level across the Defence Forces, these vacancies are, in part, due to pay and conditions issues.