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Sunday 25 June 2017

Errors mean gardaí won't get overtime cash by Christmas

Among those not getting the money in time for Christmas are gardaí in Dublin North Central, as well as some districts in Donegal
Among those not getting the money in time for Christmas are gardaí in Dublin North Central, as well as some districts in Donegal

Greg Harkin

Hundreds of gardaí have been told they won't get overtime payments today due to administration errors.

Frontline officers due payments for night shifts and weekend work were supposed to receive the cash today.

However, gardaí in a number of districts won't get the money - averaging around €250.

The overtime payments weren't paid for the past three years in December, due to Government finance issues, and were paid in January instead. However, this was practice was meant to be reversed this year.

Among those not getting the money in time for Christmas are gardaí in Dublin North Central, as well as some districts in Donegal.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) said gardaí felt "cheated" at a time when many officers needed the money for Christmas.

The GRA blamed the lack of resources in garda administration and "ancient red tape" for the errors.

"There is a situation once again where clerical staff in some districts were unable to input the overtime payments in time for the end of the last pay round on December 6," said a GRA spokesman.

"This has affected districts across the country. We have a situation where gardaí on the frontline have once again been let down by ancient red tape bureaucracy - a situation that is so antiquated it has been done away with in many other areas of public sector and private sector life."

He explained the payments are signed off at garda district level and then inputted manually into a payroll system before being sent to the Department of Justice payroll in Killarney.

"It is clear the resources needed in many districts for this to happen were not put in place," said the GRA spokesman.

"So we have a situation in Dublin North Central, for example, where frontline gardaí expecting a few extra euro for over Christmas, having put in the hard hours at nights and the weekend, won't get that money now until January. We feel we've been kicked again and there can't be any more excuses.

"We were promised earlier this year that any overtime payments due would be paid in time for Christmas. For many garda families this Christmas, this has turned into a false promise."

Irish Independent

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