Gardaí begin industrial action amid dispute around voluntary overtime

Gardaí Begin Industrial Action Amid Dispute Around Voluntary Overtime
It will continue every Tuesday until November 10th, when members will withdraw service entirely for the day, a strike in all but name. Photo: Collins
Share this article
Kenneth Fox

Garda management is prepared to order members to work overtime if required and has assured the Government the ongoing industrial dispute will not have any major impact on frontline policing.

As The Irish Times reports, from Tuesday, members of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), which represents 11,000 members of the near 14,000-strong force, will refuse to undertake voluntary overtime.


This will continue every Tuesday until November 10th, when members will withdraw service entirely for the day, a strike in all but name.

The GRA is resisting plans by Commissioner Drew Harris to revert to a pre-pandemic rostering system on November 6th.

The association maintains the old roster will negatively impact policing services and means less time off and allowances for members.

Mr Harris’s position is the Covid-19 roster is too expensive and not responsive enough to meet the needs of communities.


Senior gardaí have briefed the Government the force will be able to provide a full policing service over the next month, including on budget day next Tuesday, when large-scale protests are expected outside Leinster House, and on Halloween, which also falls on a Tuesday.

Management has said it has several ways to ensure adequate numbers of gardaí are on duty, including, as a last resort, ordering members to work overtime.

However, sources said garda management is reluctant to take such a step as it would inevitably worsen tensions and escalate the dispute.

Management may also reassign gardaí from other areas to fill gaps. Gardaí scheduled to do investigative or administrative work may be diverted into frontline roles as the need arises.


Management also hopes some GRA members will continue to undertake overtime duties out of financial necessity, defying the wishes of the association.

“We always hear about how many gardaí are financially dependent on overtime so there will be some who will see no option but to continue to work it,” said a senior source.

“Despite the fact that there will be challenges in the weeks ahead, the Garda Commissioner has assured me that there will still be a full complement of gardaí. There will be enough members to continue doing the work that they do every day,” Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said on Monday.

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by