GARDA anger over stringent government measures on pay, promotions and resources will flare up over the coming days.
Delegates attending the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) conference in Athlone, Co Westmeath, want outright rejection of government pay and pension plans for the public sector.
They are also angry at the impact expenditure cuts are having on frontline policing, including the end to Garda recruitment and the axing of overtime budgets.
On top of that, there is growing concern at the cap on promotions within the force. Figures show there are 200 gardaí listed for promotion to the rank of sergeant and 36 sergeants are listed for promotion to inspector. At least six districts are without a superintendent, with inspectors having to fill in.
The Department of Finance has told the Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy he can not promote anyone without the department’s permission.
More than 80 gardaí retired last month, half the number the previous year, and 400 gardaí are set to retire by the end of this year.
“These issues will dominate the conference,” a senior AGSI source said. “There is concern at how cutbacks are affecting frontline policing. People speak an awful lot about overtime, but in an awful lot of cases the job wouldn’t be done without overtime and overtime has been dramatically cut back.
“In addition, there is a cessation of recruitment and embargoes on promotions and appointments.”
The conference begins this evening, with an address by Justice Minister Dermot Ahern on the eve of the emergency budget tomorrow, and continues until Wednesday.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved