IFUT EXECUTIVE RECOMMENDS A STRONG ‘NO’ VOTE TO ‘CROKE PARK 2’
28 February 2013
The National Executive of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has decided unanimously to recommend a ‘no’ vote to IFUT members in the ballot which will take place in the next few weeks.
IFUT is calling on all of its members to reject the proposed agreement for the following reasons:
1 IFUT members have already suffered a reduction in their earnings of the order of 25%. We simply cannot afford a further pay cut of 5.5% to 8%.
2 Almost uniquely in the Public Sector significant numbers of staff in the universities and colleges face the threat of compulsory redundancy. IFUT has been forced to fight all such threats on a case by case basis and the Department of Education refused point blank to insert any wording whatever into the new proposals which would give more job security to academics and researchers.
3 The cut backs proposed in the revised agreement would have a seriously disproportionate effect on higher education staff because of the massive amount of extra work they have had to take on arising from historically high enrolment numbers combined with severe reductions in staff numbers. Our staff:student ratio has disimproved alarmingly over the past few years.
4 The new proposals represent a shameful breach of faith by the Government. Ever since 2010, we have been giving huge concessions in return for a promise that there would be no pay cuts for 4 years. This commitment has been reneged upon in a manner which renders recent promises that the current proposals will last for 3 years meaningless.
5 IFUT accepts that the country is in dire financial straits (although for reasons entirely beyond our control or fault) and that, regrettably, sacrifices are called for by those who can afford them. What we cannot and will not accept is that these concessions are to be sought exclusively from public servants. If a person on €65K or €80K is being asked to contribute more then, in fairness, all people on €65K or €80K should be involved. The way to effect that is through a fair and progressive taxation system. Everyone, Public Sector and Private, should be asked to contribute according to their means in a manner which does not victimise one section of society simply because they serve the public good.
Arrangements for the conduct of an all-member ballot will be announced in due course.
For further information on this media release contact:
John Gallagher, John Gallagher Consulting. Tel. 087.9369888
Mike Jennings, General Secretary, IFUT. Tel. 087.6776747.