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Garda Strike Still On For November

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A Garda strike is still set for this Friday as well as every Friday next month.

Talks between the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) and the Department of Justice failed to come to an agreement over pay and union rights this past week.

The AGSI is fed up with the amount of pay they are receiving as well as the rights they are receiving as a union. As a result AGSI members will not use the Garda pulse system this Friday. The AGSI also will refuse to work on administrative duties such as detailing Garda members for duty, processing files and responding to management correspondence.

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If no agreement is met before then, members of the Association of Garda Sergeants and the Garda Representative Association are set to strike for the four Fridays in November. These days include the 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th of November.

In result that the strike does happen, members of the Gardai are looking for 3 main things out of this strike. The most important is they would like a pay restoration of 16.5 percent. Along with the pay raise they are seeking, Garda members would like access to direct pay negotiations with the Workplace Negotiations Commision and Labour Courts. The third accomplishment they are seeking from the strike is recognition that the Gardai have the right to strike like any other union.

Police strikes are nothing new as it has happened over twenty times in history. The first being the Police Strike of 1918 and 1919 in the UK. Similar to the Garda strike the men were unhappy with their wages as well as the way the union was ran. As a result riots and looting broke out in cities like Liverpool, London, and other major ports in Europe. The strike was then settled a day later and the police men and women received their pay raise.

A Garda strike also took place in 1998 when 5,500 Garda members phoned in sick in a protest that is now referred to as the “Blue Flu.” Some stations were closed and the army was put on standby for the day.

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This may seem like a time of total chaos but it is also a time to reflect on how much the Garda actually does for citizens day in and day out. They keep order in society and respond to things like car accidents, civil disputes, robberies, attending emergency calls, and any other aspects that the public needs help in.

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Craig Marshall

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