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Garda fury at 'being barred from pay talks'

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GRA president John Parker during a Garda Representative Association protest outside the talks

GRA president John Parker during a Garda Representative Association protest outside the talks

GRA president John Parker during a Garda Representative Association protest outside the talks

The Garda Representative Association has accused the Government and trade unions of excluding them from the Croke Park pay talks, saying its members are betrayed, angry and disillusioned.

As details emerged of incentives for prison officers and firefighters, who are being allowed to retain premium payments, SIPTU's Patricia King said this showed the effectiveness of remaining in talks and influencing the outcome.

The GRA hit back, saying its representatives had never been in the same room as trade unions and were precluded from participating in pay talks since the foundation of the State.

The GRA said they were effectively excluded from the talks because of this.

While premium payments are being cut across the public sector, the prison officers and firefighters are being allowed to retain them for night and weekend work.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has also told unions that staff who retire before the end of August 2014 will have their pension entitlements calculated on their pre-pay cut salary.

Firefighters will be allowed to retain what is called "the totality of their pay structure" because of savings generated in the fire service.

IMPACT and the Public Service Executive Union have recommended acceptance to their members who will be balloting over the next six weeks on the proposals.

Five other unions including nurses are urging rejection, with Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation deputy general secretary David Hughes saying the deal is manifestly unfair and should be rejected.

 

Warned

The Irish National Teachers' Organisation will make its decision today and SIPTU and the Irish Medical Organisation will announce their positions next week.

Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association chairman John Kidd has warned that his members do not want to be used to "divide or conquer" other frontline colleagues.

However, it was up to the collective to vote on the deal.

IMPACT's head of communications, Bernard Harbor, said the unions had negotiated the fairest deal in the circumstances.

"If you look at the entire package, we believe we have agreed a high degree of equity in the outcome of the negotiation," he added.

csheehy@herald.ie


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