Senior garda officers 'will not take on extra duties'
Senior garda officers have taken the unprecedented step of industrial action in a move that has caused the public sector pay row to resurface.
The organisation representing garda superintendents has told management that its members will not take any additional duties from today, as other senior gardai consider following suit.
The Herald can reveal that senior gardai have also pulled out of a planned meeting with management about policing this Thursday as tensions within the force re-surface.
The row centres on a side deal that was allegedly struck between the Government and senior gardai in November 2016 - during the same time rank-and-file officers were planning to go on strike.
Central to the side deal was the removal of an anomaly that sees superintendents take a €4,000-€6,000 pay reduction upon promotion from the rank of inspector.
Sources say removing the anomaly would cost the State €1m-a-year.
Superintendents also claim to have twice been refused access to the Labour Court - despite previous assurances that access would be extended to all gardai.
The organisation said it was under the clear understanding that the deal struck by other garda unions, the Garda Representative Association and Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, in November 2016 would also apply to its members.
The deal brokered at the Workplace Relations Commission averted strike action.
However, after a series of interactions with the Department of Justice, superintendents say the Government has not honoured its side of the agreement.
The decision to embark on industrial action was formally communicated to both Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and Acting Commissioner Donall O Cualain in a letter sent by the Association of Garda Superintendents.
In the letter, the association's general secretary Denis Ferry confirms that his members will withdraw from all additional duties from today.
A meeting this Thursday with garda management about policing will now be cancelled.
"We will continue to fulfil our duties to the highest standards but will not engage with the Modernisation and Renewal programme until the issue is resolved," Supt Ferry said.