AGSI pay campaign: Mid-ranking gardaí begin industrial action

AGSI members are also due to withdraw labour on four days next month

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AGSI general secretary John Jacob and AGSI president Antoinette Cunningham demonstrate outside Leinster House | FIle photo: RollingNews.ie

Garda sergeants and inspectors have begun a work-to-rule protest, for the first time in the history of the state.

It marks the start of a campaign of industrial action over pay and conditions, which includes four strike days next month.

Thousands of middle-ranking officers will not be using the force’s Pulse computer system for the next 24 hours, from 7am until 7am, and again on October 28th.

Next week's action will also see AGSI members refusing to undertake any administrative duties, such as processing files or responding to correspondence from management.

It comes ahead of a withdrawal of labour by both the AGSI and GRA, which represents rank-and-file officers, on November 4th, 11, 18th and 25th.

The GRA said earlier this week that it will suggest that members of the Emergency Response Unit and Regional Support Units do not join their colleagues in  industrial action.

This, it said, "will ensure a skeletal service to protect the security of the state, prevent and detect serious crime and preserve vital evidence".

The AGSI will resume talks with Department of Justice officials later today to try to hammer out a deal.

It is seeking access to negotiations in the Workplace Relations Commission and Labour Court, as well as pay restoration of 16.5%.

The AGSI also wants to see recognition and implementation of a 2013 decision by the EU Social Committee, which would allow gardaí to strike and join trade unions.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald told Newstalk's Pat Kenny Show that she believes officers should have the right to strike. 

She added: "I absolutely think they have a right to organise. I think gardaí, like everybody else, are workers.

"They have to have mechanisms to have their issues address and resolved."