ONE of the city’s top cops has spoken of the “huge frustration” within the senior levels of gardaí as they take industrial action for the first time in history.
Garda Superintendent Mick Comyns has hit out at the “mad stuff” being imposed on top-ranked gardaí in relation to pay.
Cork’s Superintendents and Chief Superintendents, as part of the Association of Garda Superintendents (AGS), have said they are not cooperating with the implementation of Garda reforms due to a dispute over pay.
The force’s management has undertaken their first ever industrial action after twelve months of talks that, according to Mayfield’s Superintendent Mick Comyns, have got them nowhere.
Following a meeting in the city yesterday, Supt Comyns said:
“We are hugely frustrated at the moment. We have spoken to our authorities, the Minister for Justice and the Workplace Relations Committee for the past 12 months trying to get this thing sorted out. It is just not happening.”
The issue is with the refusal of the Government to extend the pay rises that were given to the three lower ranks (Garda, Sergeant, Inspector) in 2016, to Superintendents and Chief Superintendents.
Supt Comyns said the big problem is at the moment, when someone is promoted from Inspector to Superintendent, they could actually be paid less, by as much as €4,000-€6,000 annually.
“If that person is on the highest scale, their wages decrease when they become Superintendent. It makes no sense. You get promoted and your pay goes down. Any job you are in when you are promoted your pay goes up. It might not be by much, but it will go up.
“Whereas with us, your pay goes down when you are promoted from Inspector to Superintendent.”
Supt Comyns said the AGS are not sure what will happen next.
“It is up to the Government, it is up to the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe. It is up to them to sort it, they are the ones that can sort it.
“The number of people who have been promoted within that year and who have had their wages brought down is mad stuff.
“It has nothing really got to do with pay increases, this was a dispute with the Garda Representative Association (GRA) they got settled and previously these things were always settled for the whole organisation. When two associations got the pay rise, everyone else did as well.
“It makes no sense to anyone that someone promoted to Superintendent would lose money.”