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'Blue wave' of garda sergeants and inspectors to march on the Dáil today

The new government will be greeted by some very dissatisfied public servants on their first day in the Dáil.

MIDDLE RANKING GARDAÍ will march on the Dáil today, ahead of the new government’s first session, in a demonstration to demand their pay be restored to pre-recession levels.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) has said a “blue wave” of members will descend on the Dáil in the first of a series of planned actions. Sergeants and inspectors have taken a 25% pay cut since 2008 and face another increment freeze in July.

Like their rank-and-file colleagues, they have rejected the latest public pay deal, the Lansdowne Road Agreement. Now they want meaningful engagement from the new government in relation to their salaries.

AGSI is seeking direct negotiating rights in accordance with an EU ruling in 2014, which directed members of the association should have trade union rights.

The march will begin at 11am this morning from Dublin Castle, arriving at the Dáil at noon. Garda sergeants and inspectors will not march in uniform, but they have been asked to wear something blue.

‘Weak’

In a notice posted in garda stations across the country, the association said the government will see them as “weak and won’t take our campaign seriously” if there is not a strong showing this morning. Family members, gardaí who are on leave and retired members are also expected to join the march.

“If there isn’t real, tangible progress in relation to pay with government officials, we have told our delegates that we will hold a special congress at the end of June and we will go back and discuss any other form of industrial action that’s required of us to do,” AGSI President Antoinette Cunningham told RTÉ’s Sean O’Rourke yesterday.

She said they were willing to explore work stoppages if pushed.

“We signed up to the new roster, we introduced a new crime management system, we introduced a new property management system, we worked the extra 30 hours.

“The government didn’t give the part which they promised the guards which was the review of pay.”

Members of the association’s national executive will protest at Dáil Eireann every week until the government engages with them.

Related: Head of garda sergeants and inspectors not ruling out work stoppages>

More: Gardaí will march to the Dáil on the new government’s first day>

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