Message of Solidarity sent to UCU from Joan Donegan, General Secretary, and Dr Aidan Seery, President.
The Irish Federation of University Teachers sends its deepest solidarity and strongest possible support to our UCU colleagues who are engaged in a crucially important battle to defend the rights of Higher Education academics.
We in IFUT recognize that a victory for the courageous strike action by UCU members will have a tremendously beneficial effect on the prospects for decent working conditions for academics across Europe and indeed the wider world. Similarly, had UCU not bravely taken on this fight or if you should suffer a setback in confronting the extremely unfair proposals of the employers, we in our countries would be significantly weakened in the inevitable future battles to retain our pension rights. Thus,we pledge to you all the support we can muster and stand ready to respond to any request for practical help that you may make of us.
At a time when there is widespread awareness and unease at the deterioration of the attractiveness of the academic profession (and of the implications of this for the quality of higher education) it almost beggars belief that an organization representing universities could not only tolerate, but actively seek to impose, a draconian deterioration in the living standards of their loyal frontline staff.
It is one of the saddest aspects of this dispute that it takes place at a time of unprecedented greed and wholly undeserved self-regard by a tiny cohort of university management.
IFUT, which is Ireland’s foremost Higher Education trade union, is committed to raising awareness of, and support for, your just fight not only amongst our own membership but across the Irish trade union movement and wider society.
In a very real sense we declare that your struggle is our struggle and your victory will be our victory.
We are proud of you.