Update: Gardaí feel 'vindicated' after AGSI members vote to accept new pay deal

Update: Gardaí feel 'vindicated' after AGSI members vote to accept new pay deal
AGSI president Antoinette Cunningham

Mid-ranking gardaí have voted overwhelmingly in favour of new pay proposals.

The ballot saw 71% of AGSI’s 2,103 members vote, with 95% of those voting to accept the Labour Court's proposals.

The GRA, which represents rank-and-file gardaí, voted in favour of the pay deal yesterday. Three quarters of members who returned ballots voted to accept the Labour Court €50m pay deal.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said: "I've very pleased that industrial action has been avoided because I think it would have damaged the trust of the community and the reputation of An Garda Síochána.

"I'm pleased (the deal) has been accepted and we can get on with the focus on frontline policing, which is what's needed."

Antoinette Cunningham, AGSI president, said the result backs its contention that allowing gardaí use of State industrial relations agencies works.

"We held a briefing seminar in Athlone two weeks ago where we went through the Labour Court proposals in great detail," she said.

"What emerged from that meeting however, was that our members felt vindicated in their fight to have parity of access to the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court, both avenues previously not available to them.

"This move was of particular importance to our members and recognition of their voice by the Government and the Labour Court was very well received."

Ms Cunningham said the AGSI was looking forward to "helping to shape" the future of the industrial relations landscape for decades to come.

On Monday, about three-quarters of the 10,500-strong Garda Representative Association (GRA) voted "yes" to the Labour Court proposal to end the dispute.

The GRA's central executive committee is meeting to discuss the implications of the outcome.

The deal struck last month in 11th-hour talks - which averted a planned policing walkout on four Fridays during November - includes a rent allowance of about €4,500 from the start of next year.

It also offers a €1,459 payment for the 15-minute shift handover period and a €1,500 payment for holidays because of the frequency with which officers sacrifice days off when called on duty.

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