Saturday 23 September 2017

Another showdown is the last thing we need

Kevin Duffy Photo: Doug O’Connor
Kevin Duffy Photo: Doug O’Connor

Facing the first ever threat from gardaí to abandon their posts, Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan did what any responsible police chief would do - she issued an order to the rank and file to report for duty.

They chose not to. Only after an 11th hour deal was rushed through, did we avoid the appalling vista of surrendering our streets to criminals as the forces of law and order were set to walk off the job. The generosity of the deal, and the coercive way it was achieved, has opened up a chasm in industrial relations as other unions want what the guards got.

As things stand, because expectations have not been managed, public pay policy and budgetary targets, are in the balance. A delirium of entitlement has taken hold which has led to a sense of detachment from the economic facts of life. So if you make enough noise you get what you want. This was evidenced again this week when a casual remark by Kevin Duffy, chairman of the Public Services Pay Commission, resulted in the AGSI announcing that it will no longer engage with the body.

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