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Garda Pay Issue Highlights Inequality in Lansdowne Road Agreement – Cullinane

1 November, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform David Cullinane has criticised the Government for refusing to take Garda pay concerns seriously and has called on the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to negotiate with focus and direction.

Deputy Cullinane said:

“The details of the latest Garda pay offer leaked to the media last night show that the government has no intention of negotiating with the GRA and AGSI in good faith.

“The government is holding out for more productivity measures, which sends a message to rank-and-file Gardaí that the savings already made over the past eight years count for nothing.

“It is a negotiating stance that ignores the fact that we have an already-stretched Garda force, working incredible hours under significant pressure for a shrunken pay packet. 

“The government’s response to all of this is to bang the drum and crack the whip.

“The government has its head in the sand on public pay.

“It keeps on saying that Lansdowne Road is the only game in town, ignoring the fact that the INTO, a union within the Lansdowne Road tent, held a protest last Thursday calling for pay equality for new entrants. 

“This issue needs to be resolved.

“Let me be clear, Sinn Féin supports full pay equalisation for all post-2011 entrants.

“We believe that the legitimate demands of Gardaí for pay restoration be dealt with as part of a direct negotiation aimed at constructing a new pay agreement across the public sector.

“We believe that every worker, including those of an Garda Síochána, has the right to withdraw their labour and the decision to do so rests with the appropriate worker representative body.

“We support the GRA and the AGSI in their demand for access to industrial relations mechanisms such as the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court.

“Sinn Féin believes that all FEMPI cuts should be unwound in a fair and timely manner and that a clear pathway to restoration is put in place.

“We believe that those on low and middle incomes should benefit the most from any new agreement and that pay restoration prioritises those earning below €65,000.” 

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