Gardai begin campaign of industrial action

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For the first time in the history of the force Garda sergeants and inspectors are on a work-to-rule today.

It marks the beginning of a campaign of industrial action over pay and conditions which includes four strike days to come next month.

From 7am this morning, thousands of middle-ranking officers are not using their PULSE computer system for 12 hours.

Their representative union, the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) said it is the first step in an escalating campaign which will continue over the next six weeks.

Garda management has moved to reassure the public that the action will have little impact on policing today, saying “every effort will be made to minimise disruption to services”.

The move includes a refusal to do administrative duties next Friday and a complete withdrawal of labour, along with rank-and-file gardaí in two weeks’ time.

AGSI President Antoinette Cunningham said the action is designed to show the Government it can no longer ignore demands for pay restoration and negotiation rights.

AGSI will resume talks with Department of Justice officials today to try to reach an agreement on a deal following three hours of talks yesterday.

AGSI leaders agreed to minimise their industrial action today and allow a number of custody sergeants in stations to use the Garda Pulse system to process prisoners being brought in for questioning or being taken to court.