Thursday 23 November 2017

Rank and file warned that wage proposal is a 'gimmick'

Kevin Foley, chairman of the Labour Court Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Kevin Foley, chairman of the Labour Court Photo: Frank Mc Grath

Anne- Marie Walsh and Robin Schiller

Members of the Garda Representative Association have been warned that a pay proposal they will vote on next week is a "gimmick".

Militant elements in the association are trying to discredit the Labour Court's recommendation to settle the dispute.

An internal message sent to members of the association warns that pay figures were being presented to make it look like they were getting a better deal than the Luas and Dublin Bus drivers, but they were not.

It noted that they "went looking for 16pc" and the Luas and Dublin Bus drivers got 12pc over three years.

It tells gardaí that the proposal by the court's chairman Kevin Foley looks better on paper than it really is and they would only enjoy a moderate pay increase of 2.7pc.

But it warns that they would be presented with claims that they would get a 14.5pc pay rise.

It says that the court's proposal of a €500 increase in their rent allowance equals a 12.5pc increase in the allowance, but a pay rise of just 1.2pc. The €500 increase will boost the current allowance of €4,115 to €4,615.

"If it is then incorporated into salary, it will be perceived to be a 10.8pc increase in our salary," says the message. "Realistically speaking, it won't because we lose the allowance.

"However, it will forever be referred to as an increase for any future wage negotiations."

However, it does not refer to the knock-on effect of increasing the rent allowance on overtime and premium payments.

The message calculates that a payment given for each day of annual leave would equal a 1.2pc wage hike, while rent allowance changes would equal 1.5pc, a total pay hike of 2.7pc.

It says it has not included a new payment for holding briefings 15 minutes before shifts, known as parade time, as "this is an increase in workload". It says the parade payment is "sold" as a 2.5pc salary increase.

"It's not an increase in pay," says the message. "Figures are being used cleverly as it would appear we get a better deal than Luas and buses."

One source close to the garda association said the rank and file were not happy about the parade payment.

"They already have the longest working week in the public service which just got longer," they said. "It's not a pay restoration if you're working extra hours for extra money."

The proposal in the recommendation to give gardaí a €15 premium payment per annual leave day is recommended as an acknowledgement of the uncertainty of their leave. It says this was due to the fact they must attend court hearings even at short notice when on approved leave.

It says other issues including the demand for a 39-hour week and a new formula for calculating overtime should be subject to further talks.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Also in this section