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Labour Relations and fair representation must be afforded to Gardaí – Ó Laoghaire

26 September, 2017 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has responded to a memo brought before the Cabinet this morning by Minister Charlie Flanagan.

The memo, a summary of the initial findings of a working group on industrial relations within An Gardaí, will be discussed and it is expected it will recommend Gardaí should not be allowed to strike.

The report further outlines the perceived impact on the state of industrial action within An Garda Síochána, but Gardaí must also be afforded fair representation.

The Cork South-Central TD said:

“Senior Garda management, which has given us the breath tests scandal, the Templemore scandal, and the scandal of the treatment of whistleblowers, has now produced a report that says it does not want Gardaí to have their rights as employees of the state.

“Garda management have zero credibility with regard to this matter and should not be considered impartial.

“The current set-up is not fit for purpose and is contrary to the EU convention on human rights.

“Sinn Fein has produced a Bill that will allow the Garda and Defence Force associations to become trade unions in their own right and to apply for a trade union negotiating licence that has been denied to them by the State to date.

“It still includes provisions which disallow strike action by An Garda Síochána or Defence Forces associations and trade unions in the interests of public safety. However, that should not be a bar to proper union representation.

“The Michael O’Leary school of industrial relations is no way to treat state employees.

“Sinn Féin intends to give voice to the representative associations that have not been allowed to properly represent their workers, the members of the Defence Forces and An Garda Síochána, many of whom have suffered greatly in recessionary times.

“The associations that are supposed to represent them do not have the right to represent them in talks on pay and conditions. That needs to end, which means that Ireland must come into line with other European countries. That is why we have proposed this Bill.

“An Garda Síochána spend their careers in the service of the people and regularly put themselves at risk to safeguard public safety. They deserve better than a race to the bottom. They deserve proper representation to safeguard their pay and conditions.” 

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