GRA says requirement for Gardaí to pay more for pensions ‘deeply disappointing’

Rank-and-file Gardaí have warned they could reject the draft new public service accord agreed on Thursday morning between the Government and trade union leaders.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) said it was “deeply disappointed” that under the deal public service staff with fast-accruing pensions – such as Gardaí – should have to pay more for their superannuation benefits.

GRA general secretary Pat Ennis said the draft agreement would be considered by the association’s executive at its next scheduled meeting.

However he maintained: “It cannot be a foregone conclusion that this will be acceptable to our membership.”

“People who risk their lives and routinely encounter the most traumatic of human experience should be afforded a quality of life for such service to the State and our communities.”

“Gardaí have transformed working patterns and provided efficiencies since the pay cuts of 2009 were imposed, yet this proposal asks us to give a blanket agreement to further open-ended productivity measures not yet invented – coming from the Commission on the Future of Policing that will not report for another 18 months,” he said.

Mr Ennis said GRA members faced daily dangers on behalf of the people of Ireland, and they would now “be effectively taxed around €575 each year for the privilege – at a time when all other public servants are having pay restored”.

About 250,000 State employees will receive pay improvements of between 6.2 per cent and 7.4 per cent as part of a new three-year extension of the existing Lansdowne Road agreement. It is understood the deal, if accepted, will cost the exchequer €880 million over three years.

Under the proposed deal, a further 50,000 civil and public service staff recruited since 2013 and who have a less generous pension scheme will receive pay improvements of 7 per cent and 10 per cent over the three -year period.

About 23,000 State employees such as Gardaí, military personnel and prison officers, who have faster accruing pensions than other groups, will benefit least from the proposed new agreement.