New restrictions on Garda industrial action will be discussed by the cabinet today
The cabinet will meet today to discuss new constraints on Garda industrial action and also the possibility of trade union status for Garda associations.
The restrictions are expected to form part of discussions to allow Garda associations access to the industrial relations mechanisms of the State.
The Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald will bring a memo to the cabinet to allow both the Garda Representative Association (GRA) and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) to officially have access to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and the Labour Court.
They will also discuss whether or not the GRA and the AGSI should be granted union status or whether they should remain as associations.
Along with Minister for Jobs Mary Mitchell O’Connor, The Tánaiste will ask the cabinet to consider “the status of the Garda associations established under the Garda Síochána Acts and the related question of the constraints on members taking industrial action”.
If the associations were granted union status it would “need to be underpinned by a full consideration of the potential implications for the Garda Síochána as the single national police service dealing with all aspects of policing matters”
Another problem they would need to address if associations were granted union status is whether or not they would be bound by the decisions of another body such as the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
An alternative to becoming trade unions would be to have “a specific set of rules tailored to the needs of the police service and provided for in regulations under the Garda Síochána Act”.