GRA refuses to accept a Garda roster in which detectives would work seven consecutive days investigating serious crimes


A new roster in which detectives would investigate serious crimes for seven consecutive days is not accepted by the body representing Frontgardaí.

Various issues with the proposed working hours were raised, including potential loss of income, fatigue and impact on work-life balance.

Since the pandemic, most Garda units have been scheduled to work 12-hour, four-day shifts with four days off, recently extended until the end of October.

Discussions have been held at the Westmanstown campus to create a new roster with a report on a proposed working time arrangement to be issued this week.

One of the most important changes would be that “non-core” units would work a straight week with two days off, followed by six consecutive work days with three days off in eight-hour shifts.

These non-response groups include national and local units tasked with investigating organized and serious crime, terrorist threats, sex crimes and drug-related crimes.

It would also affect Gardaí affiliated with the Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab), the Anti-Corruption Unit and the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).

“Core units”, including those involved in regular frontline policing, armed support and street policing, would continue to work 12-hour shifts over four days.

The country’s police representative bodies will meet with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris on Friday to discuss the proposed working time arrangement.

The central executive committee of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), which represents over 12,500 frontline Garda, is understood to have considered the proposal and refused to adopt it.

It is expected that their opposition and concerns about the working time changes will also be relayed to the Garda boss tomorrow.

A source said: “The GRA’s CEC (Central Executive Committee) continues to receive feedback but the response at the moment is that it’s simply not practical.

“The resistance is overwhelming and Gardaí simply cannot work seven days in a row. Fatigue alone would be a big problem, as would the financial strain of additional commuting, which is being further weighed down by the current cost of living crisis.”

While the threat of industrial action was discussed among the gardaí rank and file, sources said it was premature and talks with gardaí management have yet to take place.

The GRA told its members this week that it had identified issues of “serious concern” in the proposal, including adverse income changes, a rise in the cost of living and the potentially negative impact on work-life balance.

Concerns were also raised about the loss of predictability in rosters, with the GRA stressing that it had not agreed to the new working time arrangement.

“The CEC will meet again next week on Wednesday 24 August and we will keep you informed of any developments,” she added.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI), which represents over 2,500 middle-class members, has yet to formally comment on the proposal.

A Garda spokesman said it did not comment on third-party statements.

“As the discussion process for the roster is ongoing, An Garda Síochána will not comment on the details of that process.

“Yesterday, Commissioner Harris extended the contingency plan through October 30, 2022,” the spokesman added. GRA refuses to accept a Garda roster in which detectives would work seven consecutive days investigating serious crimes

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