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Gardaí shoot down new rostering proposal

GRA leadership have said that pay restoration is now its number one priority.
Apr 22nd 2016, 4:45 PM 19,855 65

RANK AND FILE gardaí have voted against proposed changes to their roster.

The Garda Representative Organisation (GRA) saw more than 5,500 of its members (over 50%) vote on the issue.

It was rejected with a strong majority of 68.8% to 31.2%.

The new working time agreement would have seen a change to how gardaí are rostered, with a shift to working six ten-hour days in a row, followed by one rest day and three days off.

In a statement today the GRA has said that the new roster had “promised improvements from fatigue and work-life balance perspective and had been endorsed by the GRA central executive committee”.

Prior to the vote the committee had recommended that members approve the new roster.

Speaking to last month regional garda representatives explained that there was frustration among members that an altered roster was being proposed prior to pay being restored.

‘Out of step’

Sources within the organisation today described the result as a “protest vote”.

“People are annoyed about the slowness of the review of An Garda Síochána and the slowness of pay restoration,” one said.

The rejection of the proposals points to discontent among gardaí with the representative organisation.

“The executive aren’t in touch with the frontline, they’re not in tune with feelings of the frontline,” one garda explained.

They held seminars all over the country and tried to push it – they seem to be out of step with the feelings of the members.

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“There was a perception put out there that this was a membership roster – it wasn’t. It was a management roster. Management proposed something similar five years ago,” another said.

The proposed changes would have seen gardaí finishing their last shift at 7am. Those who argued against the new roster said it was disingenuous to describe a day someone would lose because they would be sleeping as a day off.

“People aren’t interested in offering productivity until the pay issue is addressed,” they said.

Responding to the result of the ballot, GRA president Dermot O’Brien said the association “is a democratic organisation based on democratic decisions made by its members”.

We will now take this result on board and look at next steps. The number one priority of the Garda Representative Association is pay restoration and pay increases for our members.

- With reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

Read: Gardaí ‘considering strike action’ as anger grows among rank-and-file members

Also: Rank-and-file gardaí to be balloted on updated roster

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Michael Sheils McNamee


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