Lecturers ‘brutalised’ by cutbacks announce strike action
Lecturers at the country's Institutes of Technology are going on strike.
The action is due to take place on Wednesday February 3.
Their union, the TUI, has said key concerns include chronic underfunding of the sector, a rise in student numbers when the amount of lecturers has dropped and the precarious nature of many lecturers' employment status.
TUI President Gerry Quinn believes lectures have been “brutalised” by cutbacks.
“Every day, Institute of Technology lecturers see first-hand the damage that an era of austerity cuts wreaks on the student experience of higher education,” said Quinn.
“The Institute of Technology sector has been brutalised by an era of anti-educational cutbacks and the latest figures speak for themselves. Funding was cut by 35% (€190m) between 2008 and 2015. Over the same time period, student numbers rose by a staggering (32%) 21,411 while lecturer numbers actually fell by 9.5% (535).
“This has had a direct, detrimental effect on the quality of service to students and the working conditions of academics. In the absence of any move towards remedying this unacceptable situation, academic staff in the institutes have been left with no option but to take strike action,” added Quinn.
“We urge the Department of Education and Skills to engage with us on these crisis issues.”