The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) has stated that its members should receive a bonus for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
AGSI General Secretary Antionette Cunningham said that gardaí have not been formally or informally brought into the conversation yet while adding, “But of course, it’s our belief that we should be brought into that conversation given the service that we did provide over the last 18 months and still provide.”
Cunningham stated that members of AGSI sacrificed annual leave, changed their work and rest day patterns, and had mobilised quickly when they were asked to.
She added that gardaí had to endure many negative experiences throughout the pandemic, including spitting incidents as well as dealing with multiple altercations during Covid-19 lockdown protests.
She also noted that members were provided with no facilities to self-isolate when they were deemed a close contact and were forced to go home to their families.
Cunningham said that although a bonus should be given to all AGSI members, an extra bank holiday would not work.
Stating that the availability of annual leave for members to take during the pandemic was drastically reduced, Cunningham stated that on a typical basis “25pc of the available workforce can go on annual leave – that was reduced down to 5pc. So many members of the AGSI would be carrying large quantities of annual leave already.”
“I think that could actually end up being organisationally problematic rather than beneficial. Bank holidays we work anyway, so I’m not sure the benefit given it’s a normal working day.”
Stating that the body is not being “prescriptive” on how members should be rewarded, she said that members should be given recognition “that is rightly deserved”.