Monday 16 October 2017

Gardai are refusing to volunteer for football fixture

GARDAI are refusing to volunteer to police an inter-county football match in what is the first major action by rank-andfile officers over planned pay cuts.

Officers usually volunteer for such matches, and the move will mean gardai on patrol will have to be drafted in.

It is estimated that dozens of officers will have to be taken off the streets and reassigned to Croke Park for the game between Dublin and Mayo.

With that number absorbed at the stadium, there are concerns that it will cause reduced patrols in the city centre.

The Garda Representative Association and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors are coordinating the move, which is the first step in a series of threatened measures to protest the cuts.

The GRA has accused other trade unions and the Government of excluding gardai from the Croke Park pay talks.

Premium payments for working nights and weekends are being cut across the public sector, but prison officers and firefighters are excluded.

SIPTU's Patricia King, who represents the majority of firefighters, said this showed the effectiveness in remaining in talks. She said she did not understand why other unions had decided to stay out.

Riposte The GRA issued a stinging riposte, accusing the Government and trade unions of excluding it. It said its representatives had never been in the same room as trade unions, and were precluded from participating in pay talks.

The GRA accused the Government and the unions of being disingenuous for suggesting otherwise.

The Dublin v Mayo game takes place at Croke Park this evening with the throw-in at 7pm.

Meanwhile, Bus Eireann has warned a union that industrial action would be a "serious error" after it rejected plans to cut its payroll by almost €5m.

A hard-hitting letter has been sent to the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) after its members voted against a Labour Court recommendation backing the cuts.

It comes after Bus Eireann chief Martin Nolan sent another warning to the 2,500- strong workforce that they may lose their jobs if they do not accept cuts.

The threat of a strike has erupted again, months after unions at the semi-state transport operator called off a national bus strike that was due to take place last January. They postponed industrial action to attend a Labour Court hearing after management agreed to defer cuts.

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