IFUT’s success with temporary contracts and occasional hours

IFUT has achieved significant progress related to employment contracts and terms and conditions for University Lecturers employed on temporary contracts and occasional hours.

The main achievements are:

  • A reduction in the waiting period for eligibility to a CID
  • Awarding of additional hours to existing part-time Lecturers
  • Universities may now recruit Lecturers on Fixed-Term or fixed-purpose contracts for non-state funded posts

IFUT has applied consistent pressure to ensure that the Cush Report on Employment in lecturing was concluded and then implemented.  The Report, while delayed, nevertheless made significant recommendations, particularly in relation to CIDs for those on temporary contracts (more than two contracts) and pathways for creating more significant and stable workloads for those on part-time contracts or occasional hours.  It also removes the restrictions previously placed on permanent employment contracts under the Employment Control Framework (ECF).

The Department of Education and Skills has written to the Universities to confirm the implementation of recommendations in the Cush Report (effective from July 2016).  In summary the new rights are: 

1.    A reduction in the period of qualification for eligibility to a CID (part-time and full-time)

The qualifying period is now one continuous employment, (two or more contracts) in excess of two years with the same employer.

The qualifying period where additional hours are awarded to an existing CID holder is reduced to one year.

2.    Awarding of additional hours to existing part-time lecturers

If there are additional hours available the University must ascertain whether there are existing qualified lecturers on CIDs OR pro-rata fixed term contracts for less than full hours who have the necessary qualifications to teach the course and who would benefit by the augmentation of their existing contract.  If this is the case, the extra available hours should be offered first to such part-time lecturers before being advertised generally.

3.    Non-exchequer funded posts

As part of the ECF Universities have been given the freedom to recruit lecturers on fixed-term or fixed-purpose contracts.  Universities have now been given the discretion to determine whether a contract for such a post should be awarded on a full-time or permanent basis.  It is the position of the IFUT that all such posts should now normally be permanent and only otherwise when there is a demonstrable and exceptional reason.  We are also of the view that this should now be enacted retrospectively to give certainty and security to those affected.

IFUT has recently succeeded in securing the appointment of an Adjudicator (Kevin Duffy / Former Chair of the Labour Court) to examine all cases which fall under the remit of the Cush Report.

A formal agreement between the Irish Universities Association (IUA), Unions and the Adjudicator will be signed off shortly.

Attached are a copy of the Cush Report and the circular from the Department of Education on this matter for your information.