Gardai strikes likely to go ahead as GRA reject pay deal

The deal had been tabled by the Workplace Relations Commission

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) has rejected the latest deal aimed at averting threatened Garda strike, which is due to take place later this week.  

Members of the GRA Central Executive Committee, which represents 10,500 rank-and-file members of An Garda Síochána, had been considering proposals put forward by the Justice Department in talks which had been taking place into the night in Dublin on Monday.

Talks concluded after members unanimously rejected the deal put forward by the WRC, which was believed to have included a plan for a €4,000 rent allowance to be restored to officers, as well as additional pay for time spent briefing colleagues before the start of a new shift.

Strike action is planned for Friday, November 4th, and for a number of other dates throughout the month should an agreement not be reached before then. In that case, the government would need to put into place plans to police the state in the event of a strike.

According to The Irish Times, sources close to the government stated that members of the Defence Forces may be brought in to assist if the withdrawal of service by GRA members goes ahead, while probationer and reservist Gardaí will be called into action, along with officers at superintendent rank. 

Speaking on Monday night after the talks broke down, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohue said: "The Government have proposed a substantial offer to the GRA. We are disappointed by this rejection but remain committed to exploring every option, within the Lansdowne Road agreement, to resolve this matter." 

President of the GRA, Ciaran O'Neill, stated that they "remain open for further talks" in the wake of the rejection of the deal. 

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, which represents around 2,000 members of middle ranking Gardaí, also met with officials from the Justice Department at the weekend, but those talks similarly broke up without agreement being reached. The National Executive of the AGSI are due to meet again on Tuesday morning.