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Gardaí working up to 100 hours a week for overtime payments of up to €68,500

Gardaí spent €107 million on overtime so far this year with one garda earning €68,641 in overtime alone.

File Photo
File Photo
Image: Mark Stedman via RollingNews.ie

ONE GARDA WAS paid €68,641 in overtime for the first 11 eleven months of this year.

That would triple the pay of a new garda and more than double the pay of a senior garda who can earn up to €50,448 in basic pay.

Information provided to TheJournal.ie under Freedom of Information shows 12 gardaí, seven sergeants and one inspector received the top 20 overtime payments.

Up until the end of October, almost €107 million was spent on garda overtime in total. That’s a €36 million increase from last year – when that figure was €71 million.

Last month, it emerged that an order had been sent to every station in Dublin by the Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy banning all overtime for the month of December.

However, it later emerged that overtime in December would be paid as it would come from next year’s garda budget.

At the time the President of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) Ciaran O’Neill said that overtime was being used to supplement the force because there were insufficient numbers of gardaí servicing the State. Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1, O’Neill said:

Overtime is the cheapest form of policing and it has been used in the past to fill the numbers.

A garda spokesperson told this website, “The nature of garda work and the requirement that the garda authorities respond, in some cases at short notice, to immediate policing demands means that there is a necessity to incur overtime expenses to ensure effective policing.

Accordingly, there will always be a need for a certain level of overtime to allow An Garda Siochana flexibility when responding to circumstances that require additional resources for specific operations.

Top 20 

The top 20 individual payments up until 22 November this year range from €57,061 to €74,268, totalling €1,247,026.

That’s means each garda in the top 20 took home €62,350 on average. Overtime is only payable to members at garda, sergeant and inspector rank.

Garda Overtime payments Source: An Garda Siochana

For a larger image of the above table, click here

Gardaí can be paid two different rates for overtime – a rate of time and a half or a double time rate.

Gardaí who are recruited now start off on €28,405.30 – including rent allowance of €4,655.30 – with an overtime rate of either €14.58 or €19.44 an hour.

On the other end of the scale, gardaí recruited between 1995 and 2013 can earn up to €50,448.30 after 17 years service. They would have an overtime rate of either €25.90 up to €34.53 an hour.

However a spokesperson for An Garda Siochana told TheJournal.ie that double pay is only applicable for Sundays and bank holidays.

Given this information, TheJournal.ie has worked out that a garda on the very highest rate of pay who worked 40 hours of overtime a month on the higher rate of overtime, would need to work  228 hours of overtime a month to make €68,641.

While the average working week for a garda works out at 40 hours per week, the actual working pattern for a garda working on a regular unit is six days on and four days off.

According to our calculations, the garda on the highest rate of pay would need to work around 15-16 hours a day, six days a week constantly to manage to earn that much in overtime in the year.

File Photo Rank-and-file gardai have voted to accept a Labour Court recommendation on improved pay and conditions which last month averted strike action. The Government estimates the deal will cost 50million euro. Source: Mark Stedman via RollingNews.ie

The Freedom of Information officer did note that the figures given referred to the amount of overtime paid out and not necessarily the period within which the costs were incurred.

However it was also noted that payment of overtime is generally issued within two weeks after the end of each roster.

“Overtime can be incurred in two different months and paid out in a different third month. For example, overtime incurred on 13 August 2017 is included in the roster ending 10 September 2017 which was paid in early October 2017.”

As a result, some of the overtime worked up until 22 November may not have been recorded in what was paid out up to that date. However, as these figures are from 1 January – it could also be the case that hours worked in December and November 2016 were included in payments that would have been made in January 2017.

Therefore, the information given represents almost an 11 month period of average overtime and payments.

Read: Public servants to get first tranche of restoration pay in the New Year>

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