A planned strike by water services workers next week has been averted.

The local authority staff were due to stage a 2-day strike on Wednesday 7 June and Thursday 8 June.

The dispute related to the transfer of water services from local authorities to Uisce Éireann.

SIPTU said this evening that it had been informed by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O'Brien, that their members’ earnings will be protected if they do not transfer to Uisce Éireann.

Local authority worker and chair of the SIPTU water workers national negotiating committee, Stephen Kelly, said: "The demand from our members was simple; that the Government provide cast iron guarantees that a commitment that their earnings would be protected if they do not transfer to the new national water utility would be honoured. We believe we have now secured such a guarantee from the Minister in a manner which will not allow individual local authorities to deviate from it."

Meanwhile, retained fire fighters are due to begin industrial action in a dispute over pay and conditions next Tuesday, 6 June.

The action will see SIPTU members engaging in a campaign of non-cooperation with work outside of responding to emergency calls.

This will involve refusing to engage in training exercises and will see members using only analogue rather than digital technology.

SIPTU has accused the Government of failing to address a worsening recruitment and retention crisis in the service.