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Widespread relief as garda strike called off at the 11th hour

The GRA will now ballot its members on recommendations from the Labour Court.

Image: Sam Boal

THERE WAS RELIEF on all sides this morning as the unprecedented garda strike was called off at the last minute.

Late-night talks ended with the GRA narrowly agreeing to defer their action.

The vote passed with 20 members of the Central Executive Committee voting in favour with 17 against.

Recommendations from the Labour Court will now be put the membership of each body for a vote.

The AGSI voted unanimously to ballot members.

President Antoinette Cunningham said:

A fundamental and historic wrong has been put right tonight as a direct result of the sustained four-year AGSI campaign to gain access to the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court.

“This has always been a key part of our commitment to members and that commitment intensified in recent weeks.”

Measures which will be put to members include a €500 increase in rent allowance.
Gardaí will also be paid for what are known as pre-tour briefings, a 15 minute handover between shifts.

It is expected that this will be worth just under €1,500 a year to officers.

3/11/2016. Garda Strike. Garda Commissioner Noirin Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan speaks to the media regarding the possible strike by the GRA. Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said she hopes that the recommendations put forward will solve the industrial dispute.

She said: “I welcome the GRA’s decision to request its members to report for duty tomorrow in order to ensure that a full policing service is provided.

“I want to thank the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court for the invaluable role they have played in securing progress in this matter.”

Concern

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman, Jim O’Callaghan, welcomed the late night deferral.

He said: “I am very pleased that tomorrow’s threatened garda strike has been postponed and I commend tonight’s decisions of the GRA and AGSI.

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“The prospect of this Garda strike caused deep concern throughout our community. The Irish public should never again be put in a position where they are exposed to the risk of losing garda protection.”

Crisis

Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane echoed O’Callaghan’s comments and said the situation should never have been allowed to develop.

He added: “This government has once again slept-walked into a crisis.

Its approach to the gardaí pay issue was to put its head into the sand and hope that the GRA and AGSI were bluffing.

“The government only allowed the two representative bodies into the workplace relations framework two days ago.

“This issue has been simmering for years.

“Lansdowne Road is slowly falling apart, and something is needed to replace it.”

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