Sunday 4 December 2016

Strike off: Garda stoppage deferred as unions to ballot on new pay deal

Kevin Doyle, Anne Marie Walsh and Tom Brady

Published 04/11/2016 | 02:30

Garda unions will now ballot their members on a Labour Court deal worth about €3,600 per member of the force (Stock picture)
Garda unions will now ballot their members on a Labour Court deal worth about €3,600 per member of the force (Stock picture)

The Garda strike was dramtically called off late last night.

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Garda unions will now ballot their members on a Labour Court deal worth about €3,600 per member of the force.

The next strike is still due to take place next Friday.

Garda Sergeants and Inspectors were the first to announce they would show up for work after an eleventh-hour deal.

The move meant the 2,500 members of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) will be available for duty, greatly reducing the pressure on Garda management.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) followed suit - just eight hours before the strike was due to start.

The fresh offer from the Government is worth up to €3,639 a year. The GRA had rejected a €30.5m pay package that would have boosted its 10,500 members' wages by almost €2,500 earlier this week.

The recommendation brings forward the dates for some of the key measures in the rejected deal. The offer means:

l Rent allowance for new recruits will be restored on acceptance of the deal;

l Rent allowance will be integrated into garda pay from January 1 next, boosting wages by €1,045;

l The introduction of a pre-tour payment from the same date will be worth €1,459 a year.

l New elements include a €500 increase in rent allowance from January 1 next, pushing up premium payments by €125

l In addition, a new €15 premium payment on annual leave to be introduced from April next year will be worth €510 a year.

Talks to avert the action went down to the wire as the Garda Representative Association met in their headquarters in Phibsboro, Dublin, to consider the Labour Court offer.

Before the strike was called off, senior Garda management were trying to assess how many members would turn up today.

A contingency plan said just 78 Garda stations would be open on a 24-hour basis across the country.

Irish Independent

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