Garda strike to be covered by recruits and volunteers

Contingency plans are being drawn up amid threat of industrial action by gardaí

 Image from a Garda Representative Association protest outside Government Buildings in Dublin earlier this year. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Image from a Garda Representative Association protest outside Government Buildings in Dublin earlier this year. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

 

Contingency plans involving Garda Reserve volunteers and recruits are being drawn up to provide cover if Garda sergeants and inspectors choose to join rank-and-file gardaí in strike action in November.

The Garda Reserve is a voluntary body that assists the force when extra personnel are required.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) said there had been a very significant “mood swing” among its members since the Government agreed to a pay increase of 11.25 per cent for Dublin Bus drivers on Thursday.

This decision had “inflamed” the Garda dispute, AGSI general secretary John Jacob said.

The AGSI will consider joining the Garda Representative Association (GRA) in taking strike action at a special delegate conference on October 17th in Athlone, Co Westmeath.

If the AGSI joins the GRA action, it would leave some 250 officers at superintendent rank and higher with the support of about 1,800 recruits, probationers and reservists for the 24-hour strikes from 7am on each of the four Fridays in November.

Concessions

The AGSI and the GRA may yet agree to small numbers of their members who are attached to armed specialist units being on-call.

Should the AGSI choose not to join the strike action, Garda Headquarters would have its 2,000 members available on the days in question.

Mr Jacob said the AGSI “does not begrudge” bus drivers a pay increase, but their 11.25 per cent award over three years had made his members more determined.

“I am getting calls all the time now from members asking me why we can’t even get our pay cuts restored but the drivers can get an 11 per cent pay increase; we’re not even looking for a pay increase.”

Asked if he believed his members would decide to join the GRA action, he said “everything is up for grabs”, but the outcome of the October 17th meeting was “too close to call”.