Gardaí attached to AGSI to march on Dáil tomorrow to highlight pay issues

The group's General Secretary says newly qualified gardaí are entering the force on "a ridiculously low wage"

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Gardaí attached to the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) will march on the Dáil tomorrow, in protest at pay cuts.

They say new gardaí are paid less than those who joined years ago, and are also protesting at wage deductions for existing members of the force.

The General Secretary of the AGSI John Jacob spoke to The Right Hook about the reasons for their action tomorrow.

"Newly qualified gardaí are coming in at a ridiculously low wage," he explained. "They lost parity with their colleagues a number of years ago, and they took allowances of them. This is the first thing that needs to be addressed.

"But there's also the issue of the pay that was taken off gardaí as part of [...] legislation and as part of the implementation of the pension related reductions to their wages. It resulted in existing members losing in the region of 25%," he added.

At their annual conference last month, 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.

Separately, an unpublished survey on garda morale shows members of the force are facing issues with training, rostering and a lack of resources.

The report, released to the Irish edition of The Times under Freedom of Information, also shows that gardai have concerns about their leadership, claiming higher ranks tend to ignore issues until they become serious problems.