Updated: 01/11/16 : 04:53:15
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Gardai reject proposals, pay not addressed

FOUR FRIDAYS of strike action this month by 10,500 rank and file Gardai now seem likely.

This follows last night's rejection of proposals by the executive council of the Garda Representative Association (GRA).

The issue of core pay was not addressed in the proposals offered by the Department of Justice through the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) 

Intervention of the Labour Court over the next 72 hours now seems the only option to halt Friday's first in a series of 24 hours strikes.

But the rank and file Gardai reps would have to be invited to such talks.....and such talks, it seems, would have to address pay issues.

Rejection Unanimous

However, the Government would likely have to step outside the Lansdowne Road agreement to make any progress on the issue of core pay.

If Gardai receive any extra money outside the Lansdowne Road agreement, the Government's policy on pay in the public sector could unravel. 

Last night's rejection of the WRC proposals came just before 10pm and was unanimous.

Said GRA President Ciaran O'Neill afterwards: ''We rejected it unanimously. 

''We’re still open for talks. It is still in the hands of the Department (of Justice) to come back to us.

Sticking Point

“The sticking point,'' the GRA spokesman told The Irish Times, ''is that there wasn’t enough in it. 

''The whole package wasn’t acceptable to the members. I don’t want to go into specific details,'' he said.

Proposals on the table last night included new recruits to get a return of the €4,017 annual rent allowance.

A small number of proposals, productivity related, were also ''tweaked,'' The Irish Independent indicated.

Remain Committed

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe said last night: "The Government have proposed a substantial offer to the GRA.

"We are disappointed by this rejection but remain committed to exploring every option, within the Lansdowne Road agreement, to resolve this matter."

The Government proposed a new payment to cover a 15-minute briefing session prior to Gardai starting their shifts.

Government estimates said this could have been worth €1,459 to each Garda, starting next April.

Meanwhile, middle rank officers in the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) meet later today, Tuesday.Their 2,000 members will also likely be involved in next Friday's strike action.

A statement on progress of their issues is expected from AGSI after today's meeting.