State should lead by example and pay Gardaí a living wage – Ó Clochartaigh
New Garda recruits are living on the bread line according to Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.
Speaking in response to a number of complaints from members of An Garda Síochána, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:
“I was shocked to hear that after Graduation a new Garda’s salary is a mere €23,171 before tax. In 2009 a graduating Gardaí was paid €31,000 (€27,000 plus €4,000 Rent Allowance). However in 2010 there was a pay cut of 10% for Gardaí, plus a further cut of 10% for new employees.”
“New recruits no longer receive a pensionable Rent Allowance of approx. €4,000 per annum - an allowance that has been in place since the inception of An Garda Síochána and one that all members of the service rely on and view as regular pay. Worth about €77 per week, the loss of this can mean the difference between being able to pay the rent or put food on the table.”
“A salary of €23,171 is not enough to survive on, especially for many recruits who will be sent to Dublin and faced with high rents, and the need to own a car (due to shift work), etc.
“I am sure the 300 new recruits are proud to be members of An Garda Síochána; they would have battled through a tough recruitment process which started off with 25,000 applicants. However the ongoing race to the bottom in terms of worker rights, pay and conditions presided over by this government cannot and should not be tolerated.”
“How can the Minister stand over this the cut to the rent allowance– €27,000 is hardly a high salary by any standards.”
“Gardaí are workers and they should be treated with respect and dignity in terms of pay and conditions. The state has a duty of care to its workers. It should set an example and stop behaving as a bad employer.”