Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now

Probationer gardaí to owe State up to €800 after pay error

Payslips received tonight show possible wage deductions after increments were apparently paid in error.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

IN THE MIDDLE of intense pay talks with garda associations, probationer gardaí with more than a year’s service are expecting to be informed that they owe money back to the State after salary increments were apparently paid to them in error.

Some of the force’s newest recruits received payslips tonight showing possible deductions of between €220 and €800. After a year of service, members are due a salary increment, and those who joined the force after the recruiting embargo was lifted had been receiving the additional pay for a number of months.

However, when the Garda Representative Association (GRA) rejected the Lansdowne Road Agreement, they were subject to a pay freeze from July this year – blocking all increments throughout garda ranks. It appears these payments to probationer gardaí continued despite this and they now understand they are being told to pay it back – though they have not been notified formally.

The starting salary for a trainee garda is €23,750 – rising to €25,472 after a year’s service. Anyone who received an increment after the pay freeze in July will now revert back to €23,750.

This evening’s revelation came as the central executive committee of the GRA confirmed that four strike days this month would go ahead.

The three classes of probationers affected by the apparent error were in shock this evening. Many were furious, as they believed they were being paid the increment as a gesture of goodwill. There was also resentment at the lack of communication from either management or the Department of Justice about the apparent error.

It is understood the department had not issued any directives in relation to probationer wages and garda management was unaware of the issue.

As they are still in the probationary period of their service, the affected gardai are expected to be available for work on Friday while all other rank-and-file members are on strike.

They will carry out duties across stations along with the country’s 200-odd superintendents.

- With reporting by Sinead O’Carroll.

Read next: