The Executive Committee of the 24/7 Frontline Alliance representing Gardaí, Prison Officers, Nurses and Midwives and other Frontline Emergency and Essential Services strongly denounced what they described as the unfair targeting of the people they represent in the Government’s proposals for an extension of the Croke Park Agreement.
Already the Association of Garda Sergeant’s and Inspectors have decided to withdraw from the talks and the Garda Representative Association are due to consider their position when their Executive meets tomorrow, Monday. 4th February 2013.
Proposals tabled by public service management have, to date, concentrated on reductions in overtime, shift premia and Sunday allowances. All of these payments form a significant part of the earnings of 24/7 frontline staff reflecting the unsocial nature of the work as they provide around the clock service 365 days a year.
Furthermore it is the view of the Alliance that in addition to the pension related levy and the pay cut, which has applied across the public services, grades in the frontline have seen massive reductions in numbers, changes in rosters and closures and reconfiguration of wards in hospitals. These revised work practices have also impacted on the earnings of the frontline workforce.
Dave Hughes, Deputy General Secretary of the INMO said:
“The 24/7 Alliance Executive Committee will now meet on a regular basis to review and monitor the ongoing talks process. The focus to date has, in our view, been unfairly targeted on allowances that are paid for attendance outside of normal working hours by staff in vital public services such as health and justice. That approach is totally unacceptable to the combined membership of the 24/7 Alliance. In our view the talks have no future unless the focus moves away from the unfair targeting of such key staff.”