Possible 'blue flu' as gardai vote in favour of industrial action

Possible 'blue flu' as gardai vote in favour of industrial action

Rank-and-file gardaí have voted for industrial action.

Members of the Garda Representative Association were balloted on whether they were willing to take industrial action over pay - despite them being legally restricted from going on strike.

It has emerged that 95% of those polled voted in favour.

Results reveal that 9,875 members were balloted, 6,505 votes were counted with just 136 spoiled. A total of 6,069 (95.3%) voted in favour with just 300 (4.7%) voting against.

The ballot pre-empted the weekend deal on the Lansdowne Road deal.

A spokesperson for the GRA said the ballot outcome will be discussed at a Special Delegate Conference in Tullamore tomorrow, as well as the pay deal brokered last week.

If they back the deal, a freeze on their pay increments will be lifted and a €4,017 rent allowance will be restored to new recruits.

Other concessions have been made in garda demands for a 39-hour working week and flexibility in the way they work 30 extra hours a year.

In return, gardaí would have to back the Lansdowne Road agreement.

Ciaran O’Neill, President of the Garda Representative Association, said: “We surveyed our members to find out if there is an appetite for industrial action. The reason for this is because our members have done everything that was asked of them, and the reluctance of the Government to reward our patience has driven us towards this move.

"It is not surprising to hear that our members are willing to take some form of industrial action to see their pay and conditions restored.

"A draft agreement was concluded with the Department of Justice following negotiations. This was discussed by the Central Executive Committee yesterday. It was decided that our Special Delegate Conference tomorrow will discuss this draft agreement further and decide the best way to proceed.”