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Sunday 24 September 2017

Gardai seek High Court injunction to stop pay cuts

John Redmond: has never seen such despair
John Redmond: has never seen such despair
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

GARDAI plan to seek a High Court injunction to stop the Government from slashing their pay and conditions.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) said it would seek legal advice and take court action if cuts to salaries or allowances were imposed by the Government under the terms of the Croke Park II Agreement with the public-sector unions.

The threat comes as gardai across the country have begun refusing to issue fixed-charge notices to speeding drivers.

Some 262,000 notices were issued in 2011, the most recent figures available, and rank-and-file members have begun giving motorists warnings of their dangerous behaviour instead of hitting them with an on-the-spot fine of €80, plus two penalty points.

While it is illegal for gardai to strike, they are involved in a work-to-rule protest that includes not using their own phones, computers and cars for official duties, and not volunteering for overtime.

AGSI president John Redmond said members were furious about the prospect of pay cuts, adding they believed their contracts were covered by the existing Croke Park Agreement, which expires in June next year.

"We have a Croke Park Agreement which guaranteed not to introduce any more cuts until it expired in June 2014," he said.

"If you negotiate your entitlements away under that, you don't have protection. If they decided to impose those cuts, we'd have to seek legal advice.

"I've never seen the anger and despair among sergeants and inspectors as I do now. We'll be seeking legal advice on it."

Separately, gardai have been told they must attend for duty on St Patrick's Day because, as it is an "exceptional event", gardai are obliged to work. The AGSI had posted a note on its website advising members they could not be compelled to work if not rostered, but have been advised by management that the message could be in contravention of the Garda Siochana Act. The message has since been removed. A source said: "We have told members to go in with a good heart. Not to volunteer, but to go in."

Irish Independent

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