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Gardaí 'should be treated like judges' in pay talks

The Garda Representative Association sees the situation of rank and file gardaí as similar to that of judges.

File photo
File photo
Image: Photocall Ireland

THE GARDA REPRESENTATIVE Association will gather for its annual delegate conference in Mayo this week amid ongoing dispute with the government over pay cuts.

The body representing 11,200 rank and file gardaí says that that it has been “isolated” from recent pay talks and has called for gardaí to be treated in the same way as the judiciary has been following its recent dispute with government.

GRA general secretary PJ Stone said that gardaí should be afforded more direct pay talks with the government as it looks to save €60 million from the garda pay bill over the next three years.

Stone said: “Gardaí are a unique organ of State, not dissimilar in some aspects to the judiciary; yet a perceived constitutional crisis with this country’s judges is dealt with separately and distinctly from other public and civil servants.

“Gardaí too should be afforded a separate mechanism for negotiations of pay and conditions.”

The 170-member delegate conference gets under way at Castle Court Hotel in Westport tomorrow where motions on the agenda include the establishment of an independent police authority, which would “remove political interference” from the gardaí.

Other motions call for an immediate recruitment drive and an increase in the number of vehicles in the garda fleet.

Stone says that the GRA’s cause “is a just one” and said that gardaí needed to be included in negotiations on pay and conditions, saying his organisation is “seeking a voice at future negotiations”.

“Since the foundation of the State, gardaí have been denied the right to discuss their own pay and conditions in any state mechanism,” Stone said. ”This is the priority. There is no justice until we have a viable solution.”

Read: The agenda for the GRA annual delegate conference >

Read: “People do not feel secure in their own homes” – FF takes aim at Shatter

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Hugh O'Connell

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