Date Released: 10 November 2016
SIPTU members are demanding immediate action to end the growing practice of workers, employed across all grades, in third level institutions being forced to accept precarious working conditions.
SIPTU Education Sector Committee chairperson, Jack McGinley, said: “The Cassells Report on the funding of third level education has identified the need for a very substantial increase in investment in the sector. This increased funding must be used to immediately address a range of unacceptable employment practices. These include reduced new entrant pay scales, the cutting back of term-time employment, increased casualisation of directly employed staff, outsourcing and many other precarious employment practices.”
SIPTU Equality Sub-committee NUI Galway chairperson, Maggie Ronayne, said: “There is now an army of precarious workers, from general operatives to administration staff to teachers, in our third level institutions. The majority of the workers who find themselves in precarious employment are women.”
SIPTU Trinity Section Committee President, Matthew Hatton, said: “Due to the precarious nature of their employment our members in the sector are unable to secure mortgages and plan for family life. This is a completely unsustainable situation.”
SIPTU Sector Organiser, Karl Byrne said: “What SIPTU members are demanding is the full implementation of the Cush Report, which was a study into precarious employment conditions among teaching staff in the third level sector. This Report recommended permanent contracts after two years and the distribution of working hours to persons already employed in the sector. These recommendations need to be immediately implemented in our universities, as they have already been in the Institutes of Technology.”
He added: “We are calling on the Department of Education to conduct a similar report into the conditions for non-academic staff, including research staff, in the third level education sector. There must also be a commitment to quickly implement any recommendations resulting from such a report.”