Saturday 21 September 2019

Garda union accepts Government pay deal

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Stock picture
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Garda supervisors say they have been left in an industrial relations limbo after two Government commissioned reports issued conflicting recommendations about their right to strike.

Now the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) is threatening to take a constitution challenge to the findings of the Murphy report which said gardai should not have trade union status or the right to withdraw labour.

But the AGSI and the Garda Representative Association, on behalf of members of garda rank, have both announced they have accepted the pay offer under the government's public service stability agreement.

The AGSI met at a special delegate conference in Athlone today where it described the recommendations of Murphy as a denial of their rights as employees.

President Antoinette Cunningham said her members were left with two conflicting reports on their status as the findings of a previous study, headed by Professor John Horgan, were in favour of granting them the right to strike and to become a trade union.

She said members were deeply disappointed with the outcome and were considering a constitutional challenge if the Government pressed ahead with legislation to implement Murphy.

The Murphy report said it took that position because of the Garda's unique position in preserving life and protecting the citizens and security of the State.

The GRA said its members have voted to accept the terms offered on pay and conditions by 63pc to 37pc, following a recommendation from its central executive committee.

Association general secretary Pat Ennis said: "All GRA members made a substantial contribution to Ireland's recovery, which is acknowledged within the agreement.

"Full pay restoration has yet to be achieved and we hope it will be delivered as the economy continues to recover.

"But today's ballot result will see an increase in take-home pay for our members from January 1," he added.

Turnout for the GRA vote was 33pc of members of garda rank, entitled to take part in the ballot.

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