Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Meeting planned after GRA vote

The Garda Representative Association has passed a vote of no confidence in Justice Minister Alan Shatter

The Garda Commissioner has agreed to meet rank and file gardai after a vote of no confidence in Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) also called on Martin Callinan to outline whether he believes cuts to Garda pay will have a negative effect on policing and morale.

Mr Callinan confirmed he has arranged to hold a meeting "very soon" to listen to the concerns and issues raised by the union.

The minister said "these spats" between the parties happen and hoped the discussion would be helpful.

"This is not the first time, and it won't be the last time, that we see something of this nature," Mr Shatter said about the motion of no confidence in him.

"We have, from time to time, down through the years, seen rows between the associations representing members of An Garda Siochana and the Minister for Justice of the day.

"These spats occurred in good times and in bad times and both parties simply have to get on with their respective jobs."

Mr Shatter paid tribute to gardai, but warned the number one priority for the government is to restore the country's fiscal sovereignty which includes cutting public service pay and pensions.

Earlier the GRA, which represents 11,300 rank and file members, passed a motion requesting the Garda Commissioner to publicly address the negative effect to Garda morale resulting from speculative proposals to cut Garda pay and other proposed changes to working conditions.

"The GRA is convinced that the Garda Commissioner is unaware of the impact of pay cuts and lack of resources on his workforce, and we seek an urgent meeting to give him a first-hand account of members' difficulties in all Garda Divisions," it added.

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