Specialist garda units should not take part in strike action, GRA says

It is "respectfully suggesting" members do not to join in industrial action

Specialist garda units should not take part in strike action, GRA says

Members of the ERU stand by a garda checkpoint in Dublin in February 2016 | Image: Rollingnews.ie

The Central Executive Committee of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) says members of specialist units should not take part in next month's withdrawal of services.

It is "respectfully suggesting" members in the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) and Regional Support Units (RSUs) do not to join their colleagues in any industrial action on November 4th.

It adds that this is subject to an appraisal of operational need.

"This will ensure a skeletal service to protect the security of the State, prevent and detect serious crime and preserve vital evidence", the GRA says in a statement.

Members of the ERU and RSUs are being "respectfully" asked to report for normal rostered duty that day.

The GRA says: "The Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the association is concerned to ensure that essential services are maintained and is mindful that protections are put in place to protect individuals from any impact arising and that the security of the State is preserved.

"The general secretary has today written to the Garda Commissioner to respectfully request details of contingency plans put in place to minimise such risk from 07.00 hours for each 24-hour period where members are taking industrial action."

Pat Ennis, general-secretary of the GRA, says: "In the meantime, the association will be encouraging individual members to be receptive to skeletal cover in emergency and evidence gathering areas, and is mindful that on-going intelligence-led policing operations are not disrupted or adversely affected."

The association will also be asking all trainee and probationer gardaí not to participate in any industrial action to "facilitate the maintenance of essential services".

Rank and file gardaí are due to withdraw services on four dates next month in a row over pay. Industrial action has been planned for November 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th.

It comes after the GRA unanimously rejected pay proposals from the Department of Justice.

The package presented to the organisation included a commitment to restore increments, and the annual rent allowance of around €4,000.

Some 95% of members who took part in a GRA ballot voted in favour of taking action.

Meanwhile, garda sergeants and inspectors belonging to the ASGI are also to withdraw labour and admin duties as part of the dispute over pay.