By Industrial Relations Officer

PDFORRA, the association representing soldiers, sailors and aircrew of the Permanent Defence Forces, welcomes the introduction by Deputy Michael McNamara, of a Bill designed inter alia to provide for greater ability for members of an Garda Siochana and Defence Forces to fully negotiate on items such as pay through membership of ICTU.

PDFORRA General Secretary, Gerry Rooney said “PDFORRA has on numerous occasions sought to join ICTU without success. The introduction of this Bill represents the first real recognition of the inequality endured by our members in terms of negotiation rights on pay. This failure to recognise the inequality resulted in the submission of a complaint by PDFORRA to the European Social Committee last year”

Gerry Rooney continued “While the private members motion goes some way towards balancing the inequality that currently exists in negotiation on pay, it does not clarify what, if any, collective action can be undertaken by members of the Defence Forces in circumstances where they feel aggrieved. While our members have no desire to strike, they do wish to ascertain what action it is permissible to undertake. This Bill in no way addresses this issue.”

Gerry Rooney concluded by saying that “I would hope that the Bill will receive wide support amongst all Dail Deputies, as it goes some way towards vindicating the human rights of members of the Defence Forces. Having just passed the centenary anniversary of the founding of the Irish Volunteers it would be a welcome development if members of the Defence Forces can finally be free to negotiate on their pay.

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