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Frontline Alliance: Staff being 'unfairly targeted' in Croke Park talks

The 24/7 Frontline Alliance represents gardaí, prison officers, nurses, midwives and other frontline emergency and essential services.

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Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

A GROUP REPRESENTING garda, nurses, midwives, prison officers and other frontline emergency and essential services staff has said that they are being ‘unfairly targeted’ over the issue of allowances during the Croke Park extension talks.

The 24/7 Frontline Alliance said that the staff that they represent are being unfairly targeted by the management approach taken during the talks.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors have decided to withdraw from the talks, while the Garda Representative Association are due to consider their position when their executive meets today.

Proposals

The alliance said that proposals tabled by public service management have concentrated on reductions in overtime, shift premiums and Sunday allowances to date.

All of these payments form a significant part of the earnings of 24/7 frontline staff reflecting the unsocial nature of the work as they provide around the clock service 365 days a year.

The alliance said that in its view in addition to the pension related levy and the pay cut, which has applied across the public services, grades in the frontline have seen massive reductions in numbers, changes in rosters and closures and reconfiguration of wards in hospitals.  “These revised work practices have also impacted on the earnings of the frontline workforce,” it said.

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Dave Hughes, Deputy General Secretary of the INMO commented:

The 24/7 Alliance executive committee will now meet on a regular basis to review and monitor the ongoing talks process.  The focus to date has, in our view, been unfairly targeted on allowances that are paid for attendance outside of normal working hours by staff in vital public services such as health and justice.

He said that approach is “totally unacceptable” to the combined membership of the 24/7 Alliance.  “In our view the talks have no future unless the focus moves away from the unfair targeting of such key staff,” concluded Hughes.

Read: AGSI demands ‘actions not words’ from Noonan over garda pay talks>

Read: GRA rejects proposed cuts to garda pay and allowances>

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