GRA votes 'no confidence' in Shatter

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) has passed a motion of no confidence in Minister for Justice Alan Shatter.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) has passed a motion of no confidence in Minister for Justice Alan Shatter.

Thu, Feb 14, 2013, 00:00

The Garda Commissioner is to meet with the Garda Representative Association after it today passed a motion of no confidence in Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. Mr Shatter responded tonight saying it was “not the first time and won’t be the last time we see something of this nature".

At a meeting of its national executive in Dublin, the association also called on Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to state whether he believed a reduction in garda pay would have a negative impact on policing.

"I have read the statement issued by the Garda Representative Association today and I have arranged to hold a meeting very soon to listen to the concerns and issues raised by the membership to their representatives” Commissioner Martin Callinan said in a statement tonight.

Mr Shatter said there had been such rows “down through the years”. “These spats occurred in good times and in bad times and both parties simply have to get on with their respective jobs,” he said.

Despite the promissory note deal the State must “still reduce” its “day to day expenditure and the costs of delivering public services”. Only those who participate in the Croke Park talks can shape the outcome, he said. He urged Garda associations to “re-engage” with discussions.

"I have read the statement issued by the Garda Representative Association today and I have arranged to hold a meeting very soon to listen to the concerns and issues raised by the membership to their representatives” Commissioner Martin Callinan said in a statement tonight.

At a meeting of its national executive in Dublin, the association also called on Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to state whether he believed a reduction in garda pay would have a negative impact on policing.

The association, which represents rank-and-file gardaí, said it was convinced the Garda Commissioner was unaware of the potential impact of pay cuts and lack of resources on his workforce.

The GRA was seeking an urgent meeting with the commissioner to give him a “first-hand account of members’ difficulties”.

“The GRA urgently requests the Garda Commissioner to publicly addresses the negative effect to Garda morale resulting from speculative proposals to cut Garda pay and other proposed changes to working conditions,” it said.

The organisation has rejected proposals by the Department of Justice to generate savings of €60 million by means of cuts in overtime, premium payments and weekend and holiday payments.

It has also pulled out of the current talks on an extension to the Croke Park deal in light of Government proposals for pay cuts.

The association’s national executive is holding its two-day monthly meeting against a backdrop of increased militancy within the ranks over reduced remuneration and resources.

In the past fortnight, GRA members at a number of local meetings have passed votes of no confidence in Mr Shatter and Mr Callinan.

Members have also voted at local meetings for industrial action, which they are banned from undertaking, and in favour of work-to-rule protests.

While gardaí are permitted to attend events when they are off duty and in their civilian clothes, they are strictly forbidden from attending any event in their uniforms even when off duty.

The idea to rally in uniform at a protest next Monday was mooted earlier this week at a behind-closed-doors meeting of the national executives of unions and representative bodies of those front-line and emergency workers involved in the 24/7 Frontline Services Alliance.

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