Wednesday 22 November 2017

Justice Minister 'willing and available' to engage with gardai who haven't yet signed up to pay deal

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald Photo: Tom Burke
Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald Photo: Tom Burke
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

TÁNAISTE and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said she is “willing and available” to engage with gardai who have yet to sign up to the recent public sector pay deal.

Ms Fitzgerald’s comments came as Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin warned of industrial action from gardai who are facing financial penalties for not signing up to the Lansdowne Road pay deal.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) has complained that they when the signed up to the previous pay deal – the Haddington Road Agreement - they were promised a pay review which did not take place.

The GRA is insisting it should not face increment freezes for not signing up to the Lansdowne Road pay deal as they believe the previous agreement was not fully implemented.

Lansdowne Road is officially implemented in two days on July 1.

Qualified gardai are paid around €23,000 a year and Mr Martin said it “is impossible” for them to afford rent or mortgages.

Mr Martin said the issue has the potential to “sap morale, hamper recruitment efforts and perpetuate inequality in the treatment of public servants in the context of pay” and also result in industrial action.

Members of the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) are also facing penalties over breaches of the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

Responding to Mr Martin during Leaders Questions, Ms Fitzgerald encouraged both the GRA and ASTI to reconsider signing up to the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

“We remain willing and open to continue engagement,” she said.

The Tánaiste said an individual has been appointed to oversee the outstanding issues from the Haddington Road Agreement raised by the GRA.

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