Garda Representative Association to ballot members as strikes set to go ahead
Rank and file gardai are set to forge ahead with a series of unprecedented strikes unless the government increases a pay offer worth almost €2,500 each.
The Garda Representative Association agreed to ballot its members on any recommendation issued by the Labour Court to resolve the dispute over pay and industrial relations rights at a hearing this evening.
But President Ciaran O'Neill said it would not suspend the industrial action until it gets a better offer.
Arriving back at the Labour Court following a meeting of his association's executive tonight he said the association was open to discussions and it was hoping for a positive result at talks.
But he said the strike on Friday is set to go ahead without a breakthrough on a pay increase.
"Unless there's a substantial increase, and we mean a substantial increase, the actions determined by conference will go ahead," he said. However, he would not say what the increase should be.
The GRA's negotiating team was attending the Labour Court since 2.30pm.
The hearing was convened after it rejected a €30.5m deal that would have increased garda pay by almost €2,500 a year.
In a statement, the GRA said the decision of a special delegate conference to take industrial action on November 4, 11, 18 and 25 remains in place, "unless we hear of substantial and significant progress towards real and tangible increases in pay".
It said in order to progress negotiations, its Central Executive Committee has agreed to ballot members on any non-binding recommendations of the Labour Court.
"The Labour Court requires that the distribution of such ballots to the membership be agreed as a prerequisite before it can hear the case," it said.
"The association remains fully engaged in the negotiation process."