THE GARDA REPRESENTATIVE Association has said that its members have no option but to register their anger through protest.
They also called Minister Alan Shatter “disingenuous” for his comments on them re-entering talks.
The GRA’s comments came a day after the Justice Minister described Thursday’s picket by members of the association outside talks on reaching a new public pay agreement as “a bad day for the force”.
The GRA said today that it stands over its position on the current issues affecting the Force.
Despite the Minister for Justice’s assertions, at no time have gardaí been allowed into the main pay talks, but have always been sidelined in another meeting room and provided with irregular briefings on progress in the pay talks. This is not acceptable in modern industrial relations, and harks back to a bygone era. The Garda Representative Association is denied union status; and only trade unions affiliated to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions have a voice in the pay talks.
It also said that at no stage did any member of the Garda Representative Association insult An Taoiseach, but acknowledged that the central executive committee of the GRA did pass a vote of no confidence in the Minister on Thursday 14 February.
This is the first time that the GRA has ever passed such a motion, and reflects the dissatisfaction and growing dismay at the way in which the Force is being systematically dismantled.
General Secretary PJ Stone said that it is “disingenuous of the Minister to talk about our members re-entering talks when he knows full well that we have always been excluded from the main pay talks”.
Until such a time where a positive development is given due consideration, our members have no other option but to register their anger and frustration through legitimate peaceful placard protest and the turning off of the goodwill tap that has sustained the Force through a period of under-resourcing.
Members of the GRA said yesterday they were “turning off the goodwill tap” in protest at proposed cuts to their pay, while the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors said that its members have begun similar actions.