Belfast Telegraph

Gardai accept pay and reform deal

Rank and file gardai have voted to accept the terms of the Croke Park public sector deal, it has emerged.

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) backed the pay and reform deal by a majority of 75%.

The association said the most significant changes for its members would relate to rosters and deployment - and warned it would not support any further wage cuts.

"The government is attempting to reassure Ireland that the worst is over and is attempting to balance the books by cutting spending," GRA general secretary PJ Stone said.

"Our duty is to ensure our members are not subjected to further pay cuts, having already suffered five."

Mr Stone said any change to rotas would form a pilot scheme and involve a further ballot of members.

"The GRA policy requires rosters satisfy the health, safety and welfare concerns of gardai.

"Negotiations will begin between government, Garda management and staff associations in a discussion vacuum as there are no concrete proposals. Only one issue is undisputed; the current roster worked by many gardai is unhealthy and does not comply with the European Working Time Directive.

"The GRA will now talk to European counterparts and analyse various police rosters acceptable to the vast majority of colleagues, both here and abroad."

The Croke Park deal was negotiated by senior trade unionists and Government trouble-shooters under intense pressure earlier this year and set out plans to freeze pay until 2014. It also outlines proposals to reverse pay cuts and a Government commitment to avoid compulsory redundancies.

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