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Drew Harris

Proposed changes to Garda roster postponed amid fears of industrial action

The changes have been pushed back until at least late March.

PROPOSED CHANGES TO the Garda roster have been postponed amid fears gardaí would engage in industrial action on the issue.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris confirmed in January he was extending the Covid-19 contingency roster until the end of March.

This roster system meant that gardaí worked four 12-hour shifts and then had four days off – a system which has proven very popular with rank-and-file members of the force.

However, as confirmed by The Journal earlier this month, rosters were due to be changed for certain members of the force such as detective units who, under the revised plans, were set to work five days a week on eight-hour shifts.

In response to this, the Garda Representative Association (GRA) issued correspondence to its members warning that steps may have to be taken to ensure all units retained their current hours.

The memo, sent on 10 February, noted: “Garda Management clearly indicated that this is their final position, and the position of the Garda Commissioner who is insisting on an 8-hour shift pattern.”

Amid fears of industrial action, the proposed changes have now been postponed, The Journal has learned.

In a letter sent to gardaí this week, Commissioner Harris said: “It is not proposed to make any alteration to the current roster arrangements at this time.”

The current roster arrangements will be extended until at least 20 March. The position will be reviewed again on the week of 21 March.

Negotiations on future roster arrangements are ongoing.

In a memo sent to its members yesterday, the GRA said it is “acutely aware of the anxiety and stress that uncertainty is causing”.

“The Association is committed to engaging in the process, and negotiations will intensify over the next two weeks,” the document added.

Niall O'Connor and Órla Ryan
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