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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 23 April, 2019
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Getting there? Mid-ranking gardaí to join with GRA and Government in using state negotiators

12,500 gardaí are set to strike next Friday unless a solution can be found to the ongoing dispute.

Garda Reserve graduation Source: Niall Carson/PA

Updated 22.56

THE DEPARTMENT OF Justice and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) have confirmed that the association will join with Garda union the GRA in using state negotiators “on an ad hoc basis” to try and solve the impasse in the Garda pay saga.

This evening the Department and the AGSI released simultaneous statements acknowledging that fact:

This evening the Department of Justice and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors have agreed to utilise the services of the State industrial relations institutions, on an ad hoc basis, to augment the current processes in an attempt to avert the planned industrial action by AGSI members.

The approach was the same one taken earlier this afternoon when the GRA (Garda Representative Association) and the Department likewise released simultaneous (and identical) statements confirming the union’s willingness to engage with the state negotiators.

12,500 gardaí are set to strike next Friday unless a solution can be found to the ongoing dispute.

It’s expected the three sides will attend mediation at the Workplace Relations Commission as a result.

The developments as middle-ranked gardaí in the AGSI engaged in their second day of industrial action in a dispute over pay and conditions, which includes refusal to use the PULSE system.

As of this evening, the garda strikes are still set to go ahead next Friday, and on 11, 18 and 25 November.

Under industrial relations legislation, gardaí are excluded from protections for striking workers. In September of this year, the General Secretary of the GRA Pat Ennis argued:

“The Garda membership occupy what’s described as a unique position of weakness within the Irish public service industrial relations system.

We’re denied the civil rights afforded to other workers and citizens and we are denied the civil rights to withdraw our labour.

Sergeants and Inspectors

This morning president of the AGSI Antoinette Cunningham told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland she was “disappointed” with the slow progress of talks to date, and that they would be continuing today.

The timetabling of talks is a matter for the government. As long as talks are meaningful, and progress continues, we will continue to engage in a meaningful way.
The AGSI will do anything possible to solve thus disputes – irrespective of the bank holiday weekend, AGSI will continue to engage.

Talks continuing

In addition to withdrawing from PULSE, AGSI members are also refusing to undertake various administrative duties today.

These include detailing members for duty, processing files or responding to correspondence from management in relation to returns or other matters.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald last week said it was “disappointing” that sergeants and inspectors had decided to go on strike.

With reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha and Cianan Brennan

First published 14.24

Read: Tánaiste expresses “disappointment” that AGSI to strike with rank-and-file gardaí

Read: Senior gardaí want pay restoration of 16.5% or industrial action could be on the cards

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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