Gardaí may take Strike Action – Changing Times

The article reproduced below comes from today’s (Saturday 13th. August 2016) Irish Independent on the possibility of members of GRA taking strike action over their pay dispute with government.  While it is “technically” against the law for members of An Garda Siochana to take strike action, I as General Secretary of GSRMA have always voiced my support and that of our retired organisation to support our working colleagues in their quest for justice in their pay demands. We will watch with interest how this unfolds.

THE body representing the country’s 10,500 rank-and-file Gardaí will hold a secret ballot to see if they are willing to take industrial action over pay – despite them being legally restricted from going on strike.

A letter from the Garda Representative Association (GRA) to its members yesterday denounces the “deplorable failure” of their “political masters” to deliver on their commitments by “imposing” the Lansdowne Road Agreement on Gardaí. It was sent in the wake of a government freeze of garda increments last month for refusing to sign up to the deal that would mean Gardaí having to work an extra 30 hours a year. The letter, from the general secretary of the GRA, Pat Ennis, said members must now decide how they wished to proceed. “For strategic reasons, we are unable to publish or print our plans, so these will be disseminated verbally through our network of GRA representatives and through open meetings – if and when the need arises,” he wrote. “In the meantime, every member of the Garda Representative Association will be asked by way of secret ballot to indicate if he or she is willing to take part in a day(s) of industrial action. “I ask you to persevere again with the solidarity and unity shown to date which gives us a semblance of power in the industrial-relations landscape. “If we remain resolute and determined, then together we can, and will, prevail.” Members of the association have already warned that they will refuse to co-operate with the Garda Commissioner’s new modernisation plan. Sources said the letter represented an escalation of the dispute. They said that although section 59 of the Garda Síochána Act prohibited anyone from encouraging a garda to withdraw their labour, including the GRA, a “grey area” surrounded whether it was unlawful for individual members to withdraw their service. The sources added that there were “other avenues open” in terms of action.

The GRA wants a review of pay and conditions which was promised under the last public sector agreement before it will sign up to the Lansdowne Road deal.

It has also demanded a timetable for the restoration of pay cuts.

2 Responses to Gardaí may take Strike Action – Changing Times

  1. John Brennan August 16, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

    It is a terrible indictment of the political system that once again the men and women of the Gardai have to engage in some form of action to further their concerns re pay and conditions.
    Every ten years this matter seems to arise. The case has been made time and time again by Representative Associations that a system should be in place that would allow for periodical reviews of pay etc. This has never been granted. The Government side when it suits them will always state that the Gardai are a special case and shouldn’t have the right to strike but then will not allow them participate in the various Government/Public Sector Union negotiations over the years. It is in no ones interest, except criminal and subversive, that there should be tension and distraction in Garda ranks. This Government is a minority government and is facing in to a winter of discontent. They appear to have learn nothing from the arrogance which caused them to lose many seats in the General Election.

  2. timothy August 16, 2016 at 3:09 pm #

    As a long time retired member and an active association member I am delighted to see the members now pushing for advances in pay, welfare and conditions of service and that everyone is behind it. In my time I always felt that staff assoc members were seen as a threat and just tolerated by management and not properly engaged with. For this reason careerists and others showed little support. Garda Management at all levels have a duty of respect to all members for the overall efficiency of the force in this difficult time of crime in society. The present generation of Gdai are good willing people deserving of the best supports av

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