Thursday, June 16, 2005

Local GSP links with UK counterparts

• Lawyers UK to press GSPSA case against MOD

Officers of the Gibraltar Services Police, the 160 strong team employed to protect defence installations on land and at sea in Gibraltar, are to benefit from an alliance between their staff association and the UK based UK Defence Police Federation (DFA).

The Gibraltar Services Police Staff Association (GSPSA) and the DFA yesterday signed a working protocol agreement which means that there will be a considerable exchange of information between what are, in effect, the staff unions.

The move comes at a time when the GSPSA have their legal adviser at a case conference at the High Court in UK on matters relating to a suit relating to claims against MoD Gibraltar who are represented by the Treasury solicitor. GSPSA declined to comment further on the issue of their pay claims.

Like other official staff representation there are controls on the type of industrial action police can take but the DFA National Chairman Eamon Keating and his General Secretary Jim Miller came out to the Rock yesterday to cement the relationship with their counterparts.

GSPSA have an ongoing claim with MOD and the DFA made clear their link is looking ahead to the future. But the GSPSA are already making use of the same lawyers in UK used by the DFA and are benefiting form the new information exchange. The focus on pay and pay related conditions stems from the parity link. The GSPSA say they want to encourage a more vibrant ‘esprit de corps’.

Mr Keating said yesterday that when his association negotiates conditions in UK these have an effect on GSPSA members. He indicated that in future the protocol would allow the GSPSA to brief the Federation ahead of negotiations with MOD as well as ensuring that Gibraltar’s officers have as much information available to them as possible.

“I have been extremely impressed by the professionalism of the GSP,” said Mr Keating. He said that at present any deeper link between the two associations would require a change of their constitution in UK.

Accompanied by the GSPSA chairman Ruben Benggio, vice chairman Abelardo Danino and secretary Keith Howard the visiting police representatives paid a call on the Governor and the Commander British Forces and Mr Keating said they had had positive feedback from them. They also met with the Chief Police Office John Durante.

Related Articles:

10 June 2005 - Familiarisation visit to Gibraltar by top members of UK MoD Police

27 January 2005 - MOD stands firm on ‘overpayment’ despite GSP protest

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