Gardaí may picket official meetings

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter yesterday urged the Garda representative bodies to go back into the talks process.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter yesterday urged the Garda representative bodies to go back into the talks process.


Rank-and-file gardaí are to “restrict the flow of goodwill” by refusing to use their own personal cars, phones or laptops for official use from next Friday in protest at Government proposals to cut their earnings.

Members of the Garda Representative Association may also picket Government-organised events in protest at proposals for the cuts which form part of measures to save €1 billion on the public service pay bill.

Gardaí are to withdraw from volunteering on days off for non-public duties such as policing sporting events or concerts.

Gardaí who have not undertaken full driver training courses and who operate patrol cars on approval of chief superintendents may refuse to seek such approval as part of the measures to be put in place by the GRA from February 22nd.

GRA president John Parker said members were not involved in an industrial dispute as management had only proposed cuts.

However, he said the actions by GRA members could be increased in reaction to any developing situation.

Mr Parker said goodwill from gardaí in using their own cars, cameras, phones or laptops “acted as a crutch or a sticking plaster to keep an under-resourced force on the road”. He said the Government was jeopardising the goodwill for the sake of €18 million in savings.

The GRA and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors have withdrawn from talks aimed at securing an extension to the Croke Park agreement.

Reduce payments

On Friday, it emerged the Government was seeking to reduce premium payments for Sunday work from double-time to time-and-a-half and to abolish premium rates for working on Saturday and the evening.

The proposals are aimed at saving €170 million.

The moves are strongly opposed by gardaí, nurses and others providing round-the-clock services where premium payments constitute a significant part of overall earnings.

Up to 2,000 public service staff including gardaí, nurses, prison officers, paramedics and fire service personnel are expected to take part in a rally t in Dublin today over proposals.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter yesterday urged the Garda representative bodies to go back into the talks process.

“Nothing can be achieved by standing outside. I say to members of the Garda force: please ask yourselves why is it your representative bodies are the only bodies that are not currently engaged in the discussions taking place.”

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