Sunday 25 June 2017

Gardaí will be left to make up own minds over deal

Despite 11 divisions voting no confidence, Mr Ennis (right) narrowly survived. Photo: Frank McGrath
Despite 11 divisions voting no confidence, Mr Ennis (right) narrowly survived. Photo: Frank McGrath
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

The Government has been dealt a fresh blow after the Garda Representative Association (GRA) said it would not be taking a formal position on the dramatic Labour Court pay proposals.

Despite calling off last week's planned strike action at the 11th hour, the GRA's Central Executive Council (CEC) agreed by consensus yesterday not to make a recommendation to its members.

Instead, rank-and-file officers will be provided with a list of "pros and cons" which they can use to help guide their decision.

Prior to yesterday's move, senior Government sources hoped the GRA would recommend the adoption of the proposals, which were issued by the Labour Court last Thursday.

But GRA sources said there was a clear view that members should make up their minds without being influenced by the executive.

If officers reject the €40m offer, industrial action is likely to be back on the table.

The proposals on the table are worth roughly €3,600 per garda, and up to €4,150 for those with longer service, according to GRA figures.

The Labour Court recommends the immediate reinstatement of the €4,000 rent allowance for Garda recruits.

Read more: GRA decides to adopt no formal position on Labour Court pay recommendations

It recommended the introduction of a €1,459 payment for gardaí to attend briefings prior to starting their shifts.

This will be introduced from January 1, if the proposals are accepted. The deal also includes a new €15 payment for every day of annual leave.

The majority of gardaí are entitled to 34 days' annual leave.

Government sources say ministers will establish how to fund the deal in the coming weeks.

But it's expected the majority of the money will come from within the Department of Justice.

Meanwhile, the GRA leadership will now embark on uniting the union after days of tension, which culminated in a vote of no confidence in its General Secretary Pat Ennis.

Despite 11 divisions voting no confidence, Mr Ennis narrowly survived.

The vote was called as a result of the decision to agree to a strike derogation for some units last Thursday without the wider approval of the executive.

Irish Independent

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