4,000 lecturers to strike today

4,000 lecturers at the country's Institutes of Technology will go on strike today in a row over cutbacks and staff levels.

Protesters have said the number of students has increased by nearly 22,000 while the number of lecturing positions has decreased by 550.

They also claim they are struggling to cope with cuts which have stripped €190m in funding from the system.

The lecturers are being represented by teachers' union the TUI - President Gerry Quinn has said their students fully support the strike.

“We have been working very closely with the union of students of Ireland who recognise that the problems we are seeking to address affect lecturers and researchers but also ultimately affect students.

“So they are very concerned and angry about this issues also.”

Speaking in support of today’s TUI strike, Deputy Jonathan O’Brien said that there was an onus on the Minister for Education to return to talks with the union and for the incoming government to address the concerns raised by teachers and lecturers about the process to establish technological universities.

The Cork North Central TD said: “There are over 4,000 lecturers and researchers on strike today and they are supported by the Union of Students in Ireland.

“The Minister for Education must engage meaningfully with the trade unions, and that must entail more than tokenistic briefing sessions by Departmental officials, and the same applies to the incoming government.

“If any technological universities project is to succeed it has to be resourced accordingly and cannot be used as an excuse to implement further austerity policies on staff and students.”

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