AGSI conference hears of threats received by frontline gardaí 'on a daily basis'

Mid-ranking gardaí are planning a major march on the Dáil

AGSI, police, gardai, support, pay, restoration, claims

File photo. Image: RollingNews.ie

The Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan has refused to comment on possible garda strikes at their annual conference in Co Mayo.

The AGSI, which represents mid-level gardaí, agreed a motion to mount a campaign of industrial action over pay starting with a uniformed protest.

If no progress is made to meet garda pay claims before June, the association says it will consider striking amid the penalty of jail.

While Commissioner O'Sullivan did not comment on the strike, she says she has been listening to garda concerns.

The annual conference has heard about threats received by frontline gardaí on duty.

A survey published yesterday show gardaí are 10-times more likely to be injured than the average worker.

The AGSI has debated motions on issues including pay, overtime and bullet-proof vests.

General-Secretary John Jacob outlined some of the dangers facing officers, adding that intimidation is "taking place on a daily basis".

Meanwhile, nine out of ten mid-ranking gardai want the AGSI to engage in a work-to-rule in support of their pay restoration claims.

Pay is the number one issue for 84% of garda sergeants and inspectors. The AGSI is planning a massive march on the Dáil when the new government first sits.

Mr Jacob said the demonstration may be in uniform - which would be unprecedented.

Almost 1000 mid-ranking gardai took part in the survey by the AGSI.

While the details of the action have yet to be worked out, an overwhelming majority of 93% said they supported a work-to-rule to reverse the 25% pay cuts they have suffered.

Antoinette Cunningham, president-elect of the AGSI, says station closures remain a major problem for the association.

She says that "they've destroyed the community relationships that we thrive on, that we rely on in small communities".

Meanwhile, it's been reported that the Department of Justice proposes a 'cost neutral' review of pay and conditions, incorporating payments for unsocial hours and weekend pay in an all-embracing single 'shift' payment.

According to the proposal, in 2014 the total garda pay bill was nearly €800m, with 71% on salaries, 24.5% on allowances, and 4.5% on overtime.