Equal pay case threatened as notice of work-to-rule is served
Female cleaners at the Garda College in Templemore will work to rule later this month in a dispute over low pay and staff numbers.
Their union has also warned that it may take an equal pay case against the state, as it claims the workers in question are paid significantly less than male staff doing similar work in other parts of the public service.
Cleaners at Templemore start off on the minimum wage of €9.15, making them among the lowest-paid civil servants, according to IMPACT.
The union also alleges that an insufficient number of staff have been hired to deal with increased student numbers as the college becomes fully operational.
IMPACT has requested a formal inspection of the facility by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), citing health and safety concerns.
National secretary Andy Pike said: "Pay for college cleaning staff is the lowest in the civil service, with a starting salary at the national minimum wage, and well short of the recommended €11.50 living wage.
"Staff are also expected to carry out a wide range of extended housekeeping duties without receiving any additional reward.
"There is now a two-week window for management to engage with IMPACT before staff start their work to rule, which will see cleaners revert solely to cleaning duties instead of working as housekeepers or hotel services staff."
A garda spokesperson said: "Garda management has been engaged with IMPACT on this matter and we are hopeful that all parties will receive an invitation from the Workplace Relations Commission to attend conciliation subject to the threat of industrial action being lifted."