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Middle garda ranks in three counties reject new roster proposal but agree to back pay increase

Gardaí cite cost of living and work life balance for reasons to reject new roster.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

GARDA MIDDLE MANAGEMENT in a number of counties have voted to reject a proposed roster change, The Journal has learned. 

Sources have said that gardaí at Inspector and Sergeant ranks have rejected the proposed new roster in Cavan, Monaghan and Limerick with Cork among a number of counties set to follow in the coming days. 

This was an Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspector (AGSI) vote at local level.

The dispute centres around work times which would see specialist gardaí, such as detectives, move to an office-based role working nine to five daily.

Gardaí affected by the change are unhappy with an arrangement which would see them working for seven straight days before receiving two rest days. 

The issue is around so-called “non-core” units which make up specialist gardaí such as detectives and community policing. In the new roster, they would work six days on/three days off, then seven days on/two day off and then seven days on/three days off.  

There are also concerns about the possible loss of allowances for working unsociable hours because they would not be expected to perform night duty. 

As previously reported the rank-and file Garda Representative Association also rejected proposed new rosters that would see regular response units work a four-day shift rotation of twelve-hour shifts each. 

This has caused significant disquiet among garda members and comes at a time when gardaí are engaged in pay talks. 

While the GRA automatically rejected the roster, their colleagues in the national executive of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) have been conducting briefings for members.

However, The Journal has learned that in recent days Cavan, Monaghan and Limerick AGSI members have voted to reject the proposal. AGSI members in Cork are set to meet tomorrow and sources believe they will also take the same course of action.    

In a detailed document Cavan/Monaghan division has told AGSI that they believe the roster is: “a fundamental erosion of our memberships pay & conditions and an effective mechanism for penalising progression to specialised units and forcing our membership to work frontline for the duration of their service to ensure any sort of reasonable pension and a meaningful work/life balance”.

Limerick AGSI members sent a missive to AGSI headquarters in which they said that the roster was rejected on grounds of “the massive rise in the cost of living and the financial impact it will have on them”.

All areas have called for a ballot of members so that a confirmed mandate for rejection can be documented.  

Separately AGSI members in Cavan, Monaghan and Limerick have said they would accept the pay deal agreed in negotiations at the end of August. 

This would see a 6.5% increase in pay for workers with other cost of living measures also. 

Cavan Monaghan AGSI members have urged the organisation to not let that pay agreement “cloud your judgement” in the proposed roster agreement.

Sources have told The Journal that Cork delegates told gardaí in a circulated briefing document that the new roster would see an €8,000 reduction in pay for some gardaí.

The gardaí at present are on a temporary four days on/four days off Covid-19 roster – before that they were on a six-day-on/three-day-off roster. 

The AGSI have been conducting nationwide briefings for their members.

A garda spokesperson has consistently told The Journal: “An Garda Síochána does not comment on remarks by third-parties. As the roster discussion process is not yet finalised, An Garda Síochána will not be commenting on the detail of this process.”

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