Saturday 10 December 2016

Mid-ranking gardaí meet to consider cancelling strike plans

Anne-Marie Walsh

Published 01/11/2016 | 14:07

AGSI President Antoinette Cunningham pictured alongside Solicitor Michael Hegarty and John Jacob General Secretary. Negotiations including the AGSI and the Garda Representative Association (GRA) are set to continue today in a bid to avoid all-out strike on four days next month. Pic Steve Humphreys
AGSI President Antoinette Cunningham pictured alongside Solicitor Michael Hegarty and John Jacob General Secretary. Negotiations including the AGSI and the Garda Representative Association (GRA) are set to continue today in a bid to avoid all-out strike on four days next month. Pic Steve Humphreys

Mid-ranking gardaí are considering whether to call off a planned strike on Friday at a meeting today.

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The National Executive of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI), which represents 2,500 members, is meeting at its head office in Phibsboro in Dublin.

President Antoinette Cunningham said “a proposal from government is on the table”.

She would not say whether this is the same proposal that was yesterday rejected by the Garda Representative Association's (GRA) executive committee, which would have increased garda pay by almost €2,500 a year.

The pay boost would be the result of incorporating a €4,115 rent allowance into their wages, which would boost premium payments and overtime by €1,025 a year. They would also get a payment for holding briefings for 15 minutes before starting work, worth €1,459 a year. In addition, the €4,115 rent allowance would be paid to recruits after being abolished during the financial crisis.

Although AGSI has signed up to the Lansdowne Road Agreement, it has accused the government or reneging on its side of the deal and lodged a pay claim for a 16.5pc pay rise.

It is seeking the wage increase, the right to negotiate its members’ pay, and access to the Workplace Relations Commission and Labour Court. It also wants recognition and implementation of an EU Social Committee’s decision of 2014, which would permit gardai to strike.

The association has accused ministers of suggesting that AGSI has been provided with access to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) after current talks with the government were referred there.

Ms Cunningham said access to the body was on an ad hoc basis and the issue of long-term access has not been resolved.

She said concerns remain that a new Public Sector Commission on Pay will not progress matters in relation to garda pay as it is not a decision-making body.

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