Friday 20 January 2017

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

Kevin Doyle and Laura Larkin

Published 03/11/2016 | 23:29

Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald made a last-ditch plea for gardai to lift the strike threat
Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald made a last-ditch plea for gardai to lift the strike threat

THE state’s first ever garda strike was averted at the eleventh hour as rank and file gardai are set to consider a new pay deal.

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The Central Executive Committee of the Garda Representatives Association received a recommendation from the Labour Court shortly before 9pm last night.

The GRA has said that the deal needs to be analysed in detail but is an improvement on previous offers.

General secretary Pat Ennis said the "need to identify the full strengths and weaknesses off it".

He said he could not pre-empt how members would feel about the strike being called off, as it would be down to each individual.

No decision has been made on strikes later in the month.

He said progress has been made after along road.

This comes after the AGSI's slightly earlier decision to cancel Thursday's strike action.

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

AGSI President Antoinette Cunningham said: "A fundamental and historic wrong has been put right tonight as a direct result of the sustained four-year AGSI campaign to gain access to the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court.

"This has always been a key part of our commitment to members and that commitment intensified in recent weeks.”

Ms Cunningham said AGSI had “gaained an uplift in the income of all our members”.

"Finally we would like to express our thanks to the Chairman and members of the Labour Court for all their assistance in resolving this dispute,” she said.

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald welcomed the decision by AGSI to cancel their industrial action, saying she wanted “to commend” all who had been involved in “complex discussions”

“The part played by the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court in seeking to resolve this dispute has been invaluable and I want to express my thanks to them.”

Ms Fitzgerald reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to introducing legislative change to give the Garda associations the right of access to the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court.

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice, Jim O’Callaghan TD has said: “I am very pleased that tomorrow's threatened Garda strike has been postponed and I commend tonight's decisions of the GRA and AGSI.”

“Hopefully, the recommendations of the Labour Court will now form the basis for a permanent settlement of this dispute.”

“The prospect of this Garda strike caused deep concern throughout our community. The Irish public should never again be put in a position where they are exposed to the risk of losing Garda protection.”

“The people of this country have a right to expect that the Gardai will always be available to guard them and the State,” concluded O’Callaghan.

More to follow.

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