€4,000 rent allowance on table if gardaí accept pay deal
The Department of Justice is expected to offer to restore a €4,017 rent allowance to new garda recruits in a trade-off to get gardaí to back the Lansdowne Road Agreement.
Officials are expected to make the offer in a document that will be presented to the AGSI and the Garda Representative Association today.
It is also expected to commit to defer an increment freeze that is set to be imposed on public servants who stay outside the deal after July 1.
This will allow the garda bodies to ballot their members.
However, gardaí will have to consider a number of productivity measures before they accept the package. The department may ask for the measures as a compromise on its proposal that they work an extra 30 unpaid hours a year, which they stopped doing last year
Talks between department officials and the garda bodies will resume today in a last-ditch bid to get gardaí over the line before the Lansdowne Road Agreement begins next month.
The department wants the garda bodies to recommend the deal to their members.
Sources have said there is "an appetite" within the Government for an end to the two-tier pay system between new recruits and longer-serving staff.
The rent allowance for gardaí and firefighters is paid to all members of staff, regardless of whether they are renting or not. The last government abolished it for new entrants four years ago.
The garda bodies argue that it was given instead of a pay rise in the past and has become a part of core pay. They are pushing for the return of the allowance in the wake of a special deal to return the allowance to newly recruited firefighters.
Siptu's Brendan O'Brien revealed that the allowance that is set to be incorporated into his members' basic pay has still not been paid to the couple of hundred recruits that have been taken on in the last four years.
He said: "I am calling on the Government to honour the agreement that has been made. We've met the requirements that were sought by the management side and now it's time for them to write the cheque."
Mr O'Brien added that these requirements included a commitment by his members to co-operate with a new forum on firefighter issues.