Gardai to stage industrial action
Gardai to stage industrial action

Rank and file gardai police in the 26 Counties have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action over the imposition of levies and the public sector pay cut.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) said 93 per cent of respondents to a survey of members voted in favour of taking some form of industrial action that stopped short of a withdrawal of service.

Association general secretary PJ Stone described the result as “positive”.

Mr Stone said he believed the GRA national executive now had a “strong mandate” to plan the industrial action.

The GRA in December announced plans to ballot its members on industrial action.

However, it was forced into a climb down when Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern and Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy both pointed out that a member of the Garda withdrawing their service or inducing others to do so was committing a criminal offence.

It abandoned its ballot plans in favour of a survey. The survey papers were posted out to GRA members and made clear the questions amounted to a canvassing of their opinions rather than an industrial ballot.

The survey asked members to consider a number of courses of action in the event of any future national days of protest over public sector pay. Of the 11,600 members, some 5,540 responded.

Of those, 7.2 per cent voted to take no further action; 65.4 per cent voted to engage in forms of action to be decided by the GRA national executive, but that stopped short of a withdrawal of services; 18.4 per cent voted for withdrawing their services while 8.8 per cent specified “other actions” they believed should be taken.

Mr Stone said the form of industrial action gardai would engage in had yet to be decided.

The GRA national executive would outline a range of options to its annual delegate conference in April and would ask delegates to decide which ones should be pursued.

“We will chose (actions) that we can deliver on and ones that conference supports,” he said.

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