Cleaners working in Templemore's Garda College have announced their intention to engage in industrial action unless their pay and conditions are improved.
Some 31 cleaning staff in the College met last week to discuss their options.
The group had balloted for action with their trade union IMPACT back in July regarding their concerns. It's understood the proposed work-to-rule action will commence on September 19th unless the group's demands are met.
As well as cleaning, the staff also have to make up beds and carry out other duties which are considered outside their normal duties.
On Monday, IMPACT released a statement saying they would back their colleagues in Templemore.
“The lowest paid civil servants in Ireland, who start work on the lowest possible legal wage, have today (Monday) served notice of a work-to-rule at the Garda College in Templemore.”
The union IMPACT says it may also take an equal pay case against the State because male staff doing similar work in other parts of the public service are paid significantly more than the female college cleaners in dispute.
The row is over a number of issues including management’s failure to hire enough staff to deal with increased student numbers as Templemore becomes fully operational.
IMPACT has also raised health and safety concerns with management, and is seeking a formal Health and Safety Authority inspection of the facility.
IMPACT national secretary Andy Pike said: “Pay for college cleaning staff is the lowest in the civil service, with a starting salary at the national minimum wage, and well short of the recommended €11.50 living wage. Staff are also expected to carry out a wide range of extended housekeeping duties without receiving any additional reward.
“There is now a two-week window for management to engage with IMPACT before staff start their work to rule, which will see cleaners revert solely to cleaning duties instead of working as housekeepers or hotel services staff.”