Gardaí set to decide on further protests

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors begin a two-day meeting today to decide whether it will escalate a campaign against cuts to members’ premium payments.

Gardaí set to decide on further protests

If it decides to follow the example of the Garda Representative Association and refuse to carry out overtime on St Patrick’s Day, this year’s Dublin parade and other events around the country could be put in doubt over safety concerns.

It emerged yesterday that GRA members will refuse to make themselves available for overtime to provide security for the Dublin parade, expected to attract 500,000 spectators.

Garda management would have to rely on rostered gardaí on a day when the rosters are normally light. In the event of the AGSI joining the GRA in that action, it would mean the availability of even fewer resources to police the parade.

The Garda associations are some of the groups to signal opposition to cuts proposed under Croke Park II.

Yesterday, another trade union affiliated to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions recommended its 6,500 members reject the terms outlined in recommendation from the Labour Relations Commission (LRC).

Unite also advised if its members do vote against, they would not be bound by a vote in favour by Ictu’s public services committee.

That Ictu vote, if in the affirmative, would be seen by the Government as the trade union’s acquiescence to press ahead with the cuts through legislation.

Unite said an Ictu ballot in favour of the recommendations, in spite of its membership’s vote against, would mean it would have to look at a range of options including industrial action.

“The cuts being proposed cannot be sustained by the workers we represent nor can they be anything other than disastrous for jobs across the broad economy,” said Unite’s national co-ordinator, Walter Cullen.

“Time after time the Government has promised this will be the last time, and that job creation measures will be successful in offsetting the impact on the whole country. Time after time those ‘promises’ have proven to be empty gestures.

“Unite will now look to work alongside other trade unions opposed to these proposals and campaign vigorously for their rejection.”

Six Ictu-affiliated unions — Unite; the Civil, Public, and Services Union; the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation; the Irish Federation of University Teachers; the Teachers’ Union of Ireland; and the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants — recommended their members reject the proposals.

Only Impact and the Public Service Executive Union recommend acceptance.

The executive of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation has decided not to make any recommendation.

Siptu met yesterday to discuss the LRC proposals but its executive will not make a decision on whether to recommend acceptance or rejection until next week.

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