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Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
# Croke Park
'We have no more to give': Over 3,000 attend Frontline services rally
Unions representing prison workers, hospital staff, ambulance workers and Gardaí attend a major rally in Tallaght.

A RALLY of Gardaí, firefighters, and prison and hospital staff has been told that emergency and public workers have “no more to give” and cannot be asked to accept more pay cuts.

Over 3,000 members of five unions and associations affiliated to the ’24/7 FrontLine Services Alliance’ attended the rally at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght,

A letter sent by the alliance to the public expenditure minister Brendan Howlin, read to attendees, said front line workers “who provide servies on a 24-hour day, 7-ay week basis cannot endure further pay cuts, as they have no more to give”.

“Frontline staff of emergency and public services have already, and are, taking the risks and paying their share,” the letter said.

Representatives from Garda associations said they were not opposed to finding savings in the Garda budget, and were prepared to put forward proposals to better manage the force’s finances, but that further cuts to workers’ pay could not be accepted.

“The cynics said last week, ‘Let them have their meeting – and we’ll see how many turn up’,” said PJ Stone of the Garda Representative Association.

“Brothers and sisters of this new Frontline Alliance: look around and shake each others hands because you have shown tonight by your presence here, that our campaign is just and fair.”

Claire Mahon of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said workers should not be afraid to defend premium payments, as they formed a legitimate part of their salaries.

“Being away from your family is not something you have to apologise for,” she said.

Seamus Murphy of the Psychiatric Nurses Association told attendees: “In 1913 we have the lockout; in 2013 we have the sell-out.”

Many union representatives said they could not understand why the government had already insisted on seeking an extra €1 billion in savings by extending the Croke Park agreement when that agreement remained valid until mid-2014.

Others warned politicians not to “test our resolve”, as they were happy to pursue work-to-rule action and prove that they were not willing to tolerate further cuts.

The event is intended to act as a launchpad for a national campaign of political lobbying by the alliance’s six member associations.

The alliance is comprised of the Garda Representative Association, the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, the Prison Officers Association and the Psychiatric Nurses Association.

Explainer: What’s on the table in the Croke Park talks?

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