Fórsa concern on Garda plans for drug testing

Fórsa trade union has expressed its concerns over plans by An Garda Síochána to introduce mandatory drugs testing.

The union represents civilian staff in An Garda Síochána within the union’s Civil Service division.

In a statement issued today (Wednesday 2nd June), Fórsa official Thomas Cowman said Garda management had unilaterally issued a HQ directive stating that all Garda staff will be subject to mandatory drugs testing and that testing will commence no sooner than six months after the publication of this policy.

He added: “Fórsa deplores the use of illicit drug use in any employment, as it puts at risk the safety, health and welfare of staff in the workplace.

“However, the union’s members cannot be subject to testing for drugs without reason and a legal basis for doing so.

“The union has not been informed of any proposed drug testing process, and Fórsa has not agreed to the internal Garda policies on substance abuse.

“Fórsa members in An Garda Síochána are civil servants and, as such, come under the agreed Civil Service Alcohol and Drugs Misuse policy which, in Fórsa’s view, is the appropriate mechanism to manage the issue of any alleged misuse of drugs in this area,” he said.

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