Taoiseach: No review of Lansdowne after garda pay deal

Latest: The Taoiseach is insisting there can be no review of the Lansdowne Road Agreement, following pay concessions to gardaí.

Taoiseach: No review of Lansdowne after garda pay deal

Update3.15pm: The Taoiseach is insisting there can be no review of the Lansdowne Road Agreement, following pay concessions to gardaí.

Public sector unions are demanding pay rises after the Labour Court recommended increased payments to gardaí.

Meanwhile, hopes are fading for a resolution of the teachers' dispute.

Hundreds of secondary schools look set to close from Monday, as ASTI members withdraw from supervision and substitution duties.

Update: 12.10pm: Trade unions are demanding a review of the Lansdowne Road Agreement, following pay concessions to Gardaí.

Gardaí called off today's strike, after the Labour Court recommended increased payments for members of the force.

The Nursing union the INMO, along with IMPACT and the CPSU are among those now calling for a fresh review of their pay.

Meanwhile, hundreds of secondary schools nationwide look set to close from Monday, as hopes fade for a resolution of the ASTI teachers' dispute.

However, Taoiseach Enda Kenny says the Garda pay offer, doesn't mean the Landsdowne Road pay deal can be changed: "Obviously the Minister for Public Expenditure, does not have an endless pot of money, Lansdowne Road Agreement is the agreement that is there.

"The Government respect the Labour court and its recommendations and reflect on those carefully."

Update 11.40am: Gardaí say threatening to strike has not harmed their reputation.

They called off industrial action last night just hours before thousands of officers were due to walk off the job.

They are now considering a new pay deal hammered out at the Labour Court.

It reportedly involves better annual leave and amounts to around €3,600 a year.

AGSI General Secretary, John Jacob, who represents middle-ranking Gardaí has defended their negotiating tactics: "I have heard Ministers and Government representatives saying that this was damaging our reputation.

"I can honestly tell you that I can count the number of emails we got to the office, which criticised our actions, I can't numerate the number we got for saying what we were doing was right.

"So I don't think the public have lost confidence in us."

Update: 11am: A new Garda pay deal could set a precedent for other public sector workers.

The CPSU which represents 12,000 civil servants says the Lansdowne Road Agreement might need to be reassesed.

General Secretary of the Civil Public and Services Union is Eoin Ronayne: "I don’t begrudge the guards anything of what they have achieved, but it does have particular relevance to the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

"It seems to have brought in flexibilities that weren't there before. If this is within the terms of the Lansdowne Road Agreement, our members will be looking to achieve similar outcomes, in the near future, alternatively it means that public service pay policy is now in tatters."

Update: 10am: Gardaí are on duty as usual today after calling off their planned strike.

Officers agreed to defer their action while they consider a new pay deal worth around €3,600 each.

The deal put forward by the Labour Court late last night also suggested new terms for annual leave and rent allowance to help with accommodation costs.

If Gardaí reject the new agreement however we could still see three strike days later this month.

It's still unclear whether martial law could be enforced - Vice President of the GRA Jim Mulligan says it was hinted at yesterday: "What was put in front of us was a potentially calamity situation for the country in the morning and the GRA did decide that a contingency plan did not appear to be in place and that we did have to agree to certain units."

Earlier: The Garda Strike is off.

The GRA and the AGSI have both called off their threatened industrial action following intensive negotiations with the Labour Court.

They will now ballot their members on the recommendations, which are believed to include the introduction of parade duty payments, clarifications over annual leave - and a recommendation that the rent allowance removed from new entrants be restored, increased, and integrated into pay scales for all Gardai.

AGSI General Secretary, John Jacob, says they will waste no time putting the recommendations to their members: "We were asked by the Labour court if we would withdraw our action and as we have been seeking access to the Labour court for the last number of years, it is important that we respected their request and we decided to suspend our action pending ballot.

"So we will be starting the process as soon as possible so people know where they stand in this regard."

The Tánaiste has welcomed the decision by both Garda representative groups to call off today's industrial action.

Frances Fitzgerald says she commends all involved for the complex negotiations that took place, and thanks the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court for the invaluable role that they have played.

The Minister also reaffirmed the Government's commitment to introducing legislative change to give the Garda associations the right of access to the WRC and Labour Court.

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