Irish Police begin work-to-rule for the first time in their history

Irish Times
22.03.2010

Gardaí begin ‘work-to-rule’

Some 11,000 Gardaí are expected to begin a ‘work-to-rule’ today in the first action of its kind in the history of the force.

The so-called ‘withdrawal of goodwill’ is in protest over public sector pay cuts and the pension levy.

The Garda Representative Association has said its members will refuse to use their own mobile phones, laptops and cameras in the course of their professional duties.

Last December, the GRA agreed to survey its members on protesting about the reduction in their pay rather than hold a trade union-style ballot for industrial action.

Representatives of the GRA will attend discussions on pay which resume today under the chairmanship of faciliatator Kieran Mulvey,  of the Labour Relations Commission.

The GRA had announced on December 7th its plans to hold the ballot, a move seen as highly controversial because gardaí take an oath of loyalty to the State and are banned from striking.

Gardaí are also banned from joining a trade union and the GRA was not directly involved in recent talks on public sector savings.

Under the Garda Siochána Act 2005 it is a criminal offence for a member of the force to withdraw their labour or to induce anybody to withdraw their labour.

On conviction the offence carries a penalty of up to five years in jail and/or a fine of up to €50,000.

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