GRA boss survives vote

The head of the Garda Representative Association (GRA) has survived a motion of no confidence as members of the force consider a Labour Court pay deal.

A motion of no confidence was tabled against GRA general secretary Pat Ennis on Monday after he was criticised for deciding to exempt Garda units from industrial action without consulting the central executive committee.

Mr Ennis, who has only been in the position for three months, yesterday saw the executive reject the motion by 25 votes to 16.

Separately, members of the GRA are to ballot on the Labour Court pay recommendations, the result of which is expected by the end of this month.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors yesterday recommended its members accept the Labour Court package.

The recommendations, to include a payment for change over briefings and an increase in rent allowance payments, is expected to cost the State around €40m each year.

The Government has yet to find a way to fund this additional pay package. Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Paschal Donohoe will discuss this with Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald in the coming days.

A Government source last night said the money would have to come from “within existing budgets”.

Gardaí are among a growing number of public-service workers who have threatened action over pay and conditions.

The Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland has suspended its actions, which had left hundreds of schools closed this week after they withdrew from supervision and substitution.

Yesterday, the union and officials from the Department of Education met with Anna Perry, chair of the Teachers Conciliation Council, part of the Workplace Relations Commission, in a bid to find a resolution to the dispute.

A source said the talks were “exploratory” and the negotiations were still “in the very early stages of the process” yesterday.

Nurses are also to ballot for strike action in coming weeks. The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation is calling for a restoration of pay, as well as recruitment and retention initiatives.

General secretary Liam Doran said: “Genuinely, based upon the anger that we got in the 12 regional meetings, the total frustration, the lack of respect that’s being shown to nurses on the frontline and midwives over the last number of years, I think we’ll get a strong mandate.”


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