Updated: 17/10/16 : 06:07:04
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Sergeants and Inspectors expected to join garda strike action

Garda sergeants and inspectors are expected to significantly increase industrial relations pressure on the Government today and vote in favour of joining their rank-and-file colleagues in four days of strike action next month.

As the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (Agsi) holds a special delegate meeting in Athlone, Co Westmeath, increased militancy in the force over pay and conditions looks set to result in the first policing strike in the history of the State.

Sources told The Irish Times that while there were “mixed views” within Agsi about joining the strike by the Garda Representative Association (GRA) on the four Friday’s of November, delegates were expected to support that course of action.

Agsi members will be briefed this morning before the debate turns to what forms of industrial action might be taken to achieve their demand for the return of 16.5 per cent of pay cuts they faced during the recession.

The move comes as the Department of Education acknowledged last night that widespread closures of hundreds of second-level schools were now “inevitable” in the weeks ahead as a result of industrial action by teachers.

The participation of the two Garda groups and the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) in industrial action at the same time would represent a significant challenge to the Government’s public service pay policy.