A decision on whether the next three planned garda strikes days will go ahead will not be made before the Garda Representative Association meets on Monday.

The GRA and the Association of Garda Sergeants & Inspectors called off yesterday’s strike after 11th-hour meetings on Thursday and agreed to ballot their members on the Labour Court recommendation. They had planned to strike for the next three Fridays.

While the AGSI has suspended all industrial action until the result of its ballot is known, the GRA only deferred that decision, pending a detailed analysis of the Labour Court offer.

The 31-member Central Executive Committee will meet on Monday morning at which association accountants will provide their analysis of the agreement.

The committee will then make two key decisions: n Whether or not to defer any further action until the result of the ballot is known and, n Whether or not to recommend acceptance, or rejection or make no recommendation to members in the ballot. The committee will also draw up a briefing document with the ballot.

There are major differences within the committee, which only narrowly agreed at its Thursday meeting to defer action, by 20 votes to 17.

Sources were yesterday slow to predict what would happen at Monday’s meeting and could not rule out action even though the ballot will not have even been sent out.

“It’s the million-dollar question. It’s uncertain at the moment and it’s the next big hurdle,” said a source.

The GRA (and the AGSI) committed to balloting their members on any Labour Court recommendation, following a request from the arbitration body.

The Labour Court called on the associations to refrain from action until the ballot results are known. “The court expects the parties to evaluate constructively the continuing requirement for the initiation of industrial action of any form in the interim before the parties have completed their decision-making process.”

The ballots are expected to be issued next week. GRA sources said it takes three to four weeks for a ballot, but might be done in two weeks.

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