Review of garda working conditions gets underway

The head of the AGSI has written a letter to the Irish public

Garda review, Haddington Road, pay, AGSI, Ray McGee, John Jacob

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A review of garda working conditions gets underway today.

It is being carried out by a retired member of the Labour Court, Ray McGee, who will look at pay and industrial relations issues in particular.

John Jacob is deputy general-secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI).

In an open letter to the Irish public, Mr Jacob said: "If there was any doubt that policing is a dangerous job the spotlight was firmly focused on the risks gardaí face while policing our cities and communities in the past 10 days".

"Despite these daily risks the public expect that gardaí will and can provide an effective policing service. My experience is the gardaí provide a service to the best of their ability, which is by and large greatly appreciated by the citizens of this State".

"The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) is completely confident the Garda Commissioner has the knowledge, expertise and ability to manage the current escalation in organised criminal gang murders. She knows she will receive the full cooperation from our members. Gardaí of all ranks will undertake whatever actions are necessary to de-escalate the current threat, to investigate the shootings and to bring these criminals to justice".

"A properly funded and resourced police organisation is critical to ensure the Commissioner can deliver an effective police service. Funding cannot just be made available to police a crisis. Funding must be guaranteed to ensure a regular policing service is delivered day-in day-out in all corners of Ireland".

"Garda pay cannot be suspended at current levels for the next two years".

"If the Taoiseach and indeed other political parties are committed to fully resourcing law and order then they need to recognise that this includes paying gardaí appropriately. Politicians need to show that commitment now", he added.

He says gardaí are being asked to take on more responsibility, without it being reflected in their pay.

"Is Taoiseach proud of the fact that he has reduced the basic pay for new gardaí down to €23,171 - which has to be just above the basic wage?", he said on Newstalk Breakfast.

"And is this Taoiseach happy that as the garda organisation delivering the service it is that...his government implemented a two-year pay freeze?" he added.