The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) has announced what it called a "sustained campaign of industrial action", including joining 10,500 rank and file gardaí on strike for four days in November.

On 4, 11, 18 and 25 November, between 7am-7am, individual members will withdraw labour to coincide with the Garda Representative Association (GRA) industrial relations action.

In addition, on 21 October members will refuse to log on to the PULSE IT system or to engage in any PULSE-related activities between 7am and 7pm.

On 28 October, they will refuse to use PULSE but will also refuse to undertake any administrative duties such as detailing members for duty, processing files or responding to correspondence from management in relation to returns or other matters.

Speaking on RTÉ's Six One from a meeting of the AGSI in Athlone, AGSI President Antoinette Cunningham said that the union will "meaningfully engage" with the Department for Justice but there must be tangible outcomes.

Antoinette Cunningham

Earlier Ms Cunningham said that the association had received legal advice on its campaign of industrial action.

She said members did not take the decision lightly but felt they had no option but to show the Government how serious they were about restoring pay for members.

Ms Cunningham rejected suggestions by Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar that the public would not support the gardaí if they strike.

In a statement, Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald described the decision by the AGSI as "disappointing".

"This is particularly the case as they have not balloted their members on the taking of this action."

She said: "I met representatives of AGSI earlier this month and my Department extended an invitation to meet last week. That invitation remains open and I would urge them to engage with my Department to find a solution for their members."

Ms Fitzgerald said that she remains "focused on finding a pathway to negotiate with AGSI in a way which is fair to them, the taxpayer and other public sector workers.

"This must be within the parameters of the very real constraints on public sector pay."

Earlier, she said she was committed to allowing gardaí access to the Labour Court and the Workplace Relations Commission.

The industrial action by the AGSI comes against a backdrop of increasing industrial unrest as 10,500 rank and file gardaí and 17,000 secondary-school teachers prepare for intermittent strikes in the coming weeks.

It will also increase pressure on Government pay policy.

The AGSI reached a deal with the Government some months ago which brought its 2,000 members into the Lansdowne Road public sector pay agreement.

However, the AGSI has revised its position after establishing that an ongoing review of garda pay and industrial relations will not deliver the immediate increases it is seeking.

AGSI demonstration

Demands include a 16.5% pay claim and access to the WRC and the Labour Court, like other public servants. 

Meanwhile, the GRA has issued a statement saying it will suggest that members of the Emergency Response Unit and Regional Support Units do not join the colleagues in any industrial action on 4 November to "ensure a skeletal service to protect the security of the State, prevent and detect serious crime and preserve vital evidence".

The association has also asked that all trainee and probationer gardaí do not take part in the action.

It added that the General Secretary has written to the Garda Commissioner to request details of contingency plans for each 24-hour period where members are taking industrial plans.