Rank-and-file gardaí back industrial action over pay

GRA ballot was called before the proposed new agreement struck on Friday

Rank-and-file gardaí back industrial action over pay

File photo: RollingNews.ie

Rank-and-file gardaí have voted 95% in favour of industrial action as part of a pay restoration campaign.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) ballot was called before a proposed new deal was agreed with the Department of Justice last week.

The proposals put forward on Friday include a commitment to restore increments and the annual rent allowance of around €4,000.

FEMPI legislation introduced last year means GRA members have been subject to a pay freeze for failing to sign up to the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

New gardaí earning €23,171 previously received a pay increment of €2,301 after one year, bringing their wages to €25,472.

The imposition of FEMPI, along with the loss of their €4,017 annual rent allowance, has left them €6,000 worse off, according to the GRA.

The new deal, if supported by members, could see industrial action being averted. The matter is due to be discussed as a special delegate conference in Tullamore tomorrow.

Two-thirds of the membership took part in the ballot, with just 4.7% voting against action.

President Ciaran O’Neill said in a statement: "We surveyed our members to find out if there is an appetite for industrial action.

"The reason for this is because our members have done everything that was asked of them, and the reluctance of the government to reward our patience has driven us towards this move.

"It is not surprising to hear that our members are willing to take some form of industrial action to see their pay and conditions restored.

 "A draft agreement was concluded with the Department of Justice following negotiations. This was discussed by the Central Executive Committee yesterday.

"It was decided that our special delegate conference tomorrow will discuss this draft agreement further and decide the best way to proceed.”