Policing bill stirs fears over civil service status
by Bernard Harbor

Fórsa and the Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants (AHCPS) have written to all members of the Oireachtas justice committee, urging them to consult with unions over the proposed Policing, Security and Community Safety Bill.


The unions are concerned that, if enacted, the legislation could impact on the civil service status of civilians working in An Garda Síochána. The bill is currently being scrutinised by the committee, prior to moving on to the next legislative stage.


In the letter, the unions express strong disappointment at the committee’s decision not to engage with them as part of the standard stakeholder engagement on draft legislation. “This legislation has been developed and published without any engagement with the representatives of the 3,000 staff most impacted by this proposed legislation,” they say.


Earlier this year, the two unions wrote jointly to public expenditure minister Michael McGrath to express dismay that normal industrial relations procedures had been effectively bypassed.


“This legislation, if enacted, would have farreaching consequences for our members in An Garda Síochána, who would lose their civil service status. Also under the draft legislation the new Garda Ombudsman would be granted additional powers of investigation over civilian staff,” they say.


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