AGSI will also cease voluntary tasks over cuts

Updated: Monday, 18 Feb 2013 21:09

A second garda organisation has said its members will also cease carrying out certain tasks which they say they do in work on a voluntary basis.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors says it will participate in the what the Garda Representative Association has described as it's campaign of "turning off the goodwill tap," due to begin next Friday.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Six-One General Secretary John Redmond said Garda Sergeants and Inspectors are prepared to take action and going to take action because they are at "the end of their tether."

It is the first time middle-ranking gardaí who carry out supervisory and mid-management roles have announced they will refuse to do certain tasks they have been doing up to now in protest against proposed cuts to pay and allowances.

Mr Redmond described the move as significant and insisted AGSI members were quite straight, clear and honest in their opposition to Government cutbacks.

The actions included in the gardai's withdrawal of voluntary services include refusing to use their own personal cars and mobile phones, and refusing to make themselves available for non-public duty such as policing concerts and sporting events.

GRA President John Parker also said that it is "intent on picketing Government venues and Government organised events" as part of what he called "light-touch actions" that its members will undertake to demonstrate their opposition to proposed cuts in their earnings.

Mr Parker described intended pickets by members of the Garda Representative Association as akin to "mobile advertising" or "sandwich board men".

Mr Parker said that while the GRA was considering placing such pickets on buildings like Leinster House, he said he would not call it industrial action.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has already pointed out that such action is forbidden under Garda disciplinary regulations.

Mr Callinan said he understood the hurt and anger felt in particular by younger Gardai and if he were in the same situation he would probably feel the same way.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has urged the Garda Representative Association to go back into talks on the Croke Park Agreement.

Mr Kenny said the talks were very important for the economic health of our country for years to come and everybody, including the GRA, has a part to play

He said: "These talks are at a very intense stage. They are about the future of our country in so many ways.

“I would like that everybody involved, including the GRA, would get back into the situation where they articulate their concerns and their anxieties inside those talks so that we can arrive at a decision and a conclusion about what can be done here in order to achieve the reduction in spending this year and the achievement of the billion reduction by 2015.”

“This is very important for the economic health of our country for years to come and everybody has a part to play, including the GRA, and I would ask them to go back into those talks and articulate their concerns and their anxieties inside the talks."