Gardaí say they will continue cuts protests

GRA and AGSI members take part in rally outside Leinster House

Video: Gardaí protest outside Leinster House

Organisations representing gardaí have pledged to continue their protests against cuts to members’ earnings under the proposed new Croke Park agreement.

Around 30 members of the executives of the Garda Representative Association (GRA)and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) took part in a protest outside Leinster House on Wednesday lunchtime.

The general secretary of the AGSI John Redmond said his members would go as far as was needed to protect their pay.

GRA general secretary PJ Stone said it could not be fair that a senator earning €65,000 would lose €600 under the new Croke Park proposals but young gardaí earning around €40,000 would lose €2,500.

Mr Redmond said his organisastion believed the existing Croke Park agreement remained inplace until the middle of 2014 and that it would take whatever legal action was necessary to protect its position under this deal, which ruled out any further pay cuts.

He said he had been told “in no uncertain terms” by Garda authorities that hecould face criminal investigation if he conuined with his actions against the proposed cuts. He also said he was warned that he could face disciplinary procedures.

However he said he was representing 2,000 Garda sergeants and inspectors.

Mr Stone said: "Our association has made substantive reforms of roster and made significant savings for the country. We were never offered a seat in the negotiations between Government and the trade unions; members of An Garda Síochána were sidelined.”

Separately Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin said the shape and nature of the new Croke Park agreement “discriminated disproportionately against those staff working at the front line” who had a lot of their overall earnings made up of shift payments, overtime and allowances.

Meanwhile the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants called for “an emphatic ’No’ vote” in its ballot of members on the proposals.