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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 8 July, 2020
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Garda bodies launch High Court challenge to sick pay changes

Sick and injured gardaí have already been moved to lower rates of sick pay as changes in legislation reduce the amount of time they can receive the full rate.

A garda injured in clashes with rioters in 2006.
A garda injured in clashes with rioters in 2006.
Image: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland!

ALL FOUR OF the representative bodies for gardaí have launched a High Court challenge to legislation brought in by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform that would see significant changes to sick pay rules.

The organisations representing members of the force across the board - from the officer patrolling the streets to the Garda Commissioner – claim they were not consulted before the changes were put in place.

Representatives from the Garda Representative Association (GRA) met with department officials early last month and were told the legislation, which covers all public sector workers, had already been brought in the previous day.

The association says it was under the impression it had until the end of the month to negotiate and put forward proposals for a specific scheme that would cover An Garda Síochána.

All employees in the Defence Forces are exempt from the changes in the legislation and the representative bodies are arguing that gardaí would fit into the same criteria. The changes mean a reduction in the amount of time a person can claim full sick pay from the force when they are injured on the job, with some injured gardaí already being moved to a rate similar to the social welfare disability rate.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, GRA President John Parker said sick pay is part of a garda’s pay and conditions and these changes leave members “without a safety net when you do get injured”.

“The job is difficult enough already,” he said. “There are people who end up with psychological problems and stress problems and a lot of these aren’t covered either.”

The High Court will hear evidence from the Department’s legal representation later this month.

Read: Garda sustains serious leg injury in Dublin assault>

Read: Garda Representative Association says its members knew some calls were recorded>

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