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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 22 August, 2014

Gardaí win the right to strike in case against the State

Under the ruling, gardaí can be members of trade unions.

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Updated 7.50pm

THE ASSOCIATION OF Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) has won a European case, which will see the rules in relation to trade union rights for members of An Garda Síochána being changed.

In June 2012, the AGSI lodged a complaint through the European Confederation of Police (EuroCOP) against Ireland’s implementation of the European Social Charter.

The complaint alleged that it, and other police associations, did not enjoy full trade union rights in Ireland and that Articles 5, the right to organise, Article 6, the right to bargain collectively and Article 21, the right to information and consultation of the European Social Charter were violated as a result.

A 42-page decision from the adjudicating body, the European Committee of Social Rights, which is binding, sets out the framework for such a decision, and one that applies to all members of An Garda Síochána.

AGSI General Secretary, John Redmond who pursued the complaint on behalf of AGSI described the decision as, “a defining moment in our history and a significant decision for our future.”

He said that while the AGSI hoped not to use its right to strike, they were urging the state to set up mechanisms to allow them access the Labour Relations Commission.

The Association hopes that it will never have to resort to using its newly acquired ‘right to strike’ in pursuit of the rights and entitlements of the Sergeants and Inspectors we represent and we now urge the Government to work quickly to agree mechanisms which will give AGSI access to the Labour Relations Commission and the Labour Court.

First published 6.45am

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