Members of An Garda Síochána now have access to the industrial relations machinery of the State, due to the enactment of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2019 on Saturday 1 February.
The act provides that Garda members will now have access, through their representative associations, to the services of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and the Labour Court to resolve industrial relations disputes.
In parallel, new internal dispute-resolution mechanisms have been introduced in An Garda Síochána, including training and the appointment of specialist staff.
Justice minister Charlie Flanagan said: “Management of industrial relations in An Garda Síochána now comes under the direct remit of the Garda Commissioner.
“This is in keeping with the vision of the commissioner as the ‘true CEO’ of An Garda Síochána, as set out in the Report of the Commission on the Future of Policing and contained within its implementation plan, ‘A Policing Service for the Future’.”
Business minister Heather Humphreys said that a clear and stable industrial relations environment in An Garda Síochána is in everyone’s interest.
The new arrangements have been established through the work of a number of stakeholders – the WRC, Garda management, the associations representing Garda members, and the inter-departmental working group on industrial relations structures for An Garda Síochána, chaired by John Murphy (former secretary general at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation).
The act amends the Industrial Relations Act 1990 to include members of An Garda Síochána and the Garda Commissioner for a number of purposes.
Prior to commencement, agreed changes to internal Garda dispute-resolution mechanisms were also implemented.