THE GENERAL SECRETARY of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) has today welcomed comments by the Finance Minister Michael Noonan that there was “nothing categoric” in terms of the €1 billion garda payroll cuts.
In a statement released this evening, the AGSI said it marked a move in the right direction by government, but that the organisation wanted “action on this, not of words”.
“An Garda Síochána provides a professional police service and this should be recognised by the Government by removing pay and allowance cuts as proposed for Sergeants and Inspectors,” General Secretary John Redmond said.
“It is clear that the official side want to keep staff associations in talks so they can say we negotiated away our safety measures within Croke Park 1. We are being asked to select cuts for our members which are ‘good’ for them. This is a positioned move and we will not allow ourselves be cornered into this strategy.
“AGSI members will not row back on our withdrawal from talks. At the moment there is nothing proposed for Sergeants and Inspectors which can be negotiated even if we talked until 2014.
“We will stand firm against a ‘hoodwinking strategy’ which will make slaves out of our members.”
Redmond noted that senior public servants and senior Garda managers had their annual 10 per cent bonus incorporated into their pay, around ten days before the Garda pay cuts in 2009. He added that AGSI members took a 7 per cent pay cut, while Commissioner-level An Garda Síochána took a 2 per cent cut.
“We believe that no talks have taken place since our withdrawal on 25th January as pressure mounts on the official side to keep Unions inside. We will fully support any other unions or staff associations that decide to take a stand against austerity measures that impact their members and we look forward to marching with them next Saturday 9th February in Dublin,” concluded Redmond.