The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) is demanding urgent action to provide full collective-bargaining rights for its members in Dublin City University, following the merger of Mater Dei Institute of Education; Church of Ireland Collegeof Education; St. Patrick’s College of Education, Drumcondra andthe original DCU. The merger process began almost two years ago.
Following an unanimous vote of support at IFUT’s Annual Delegate Conferencein May, IFUT wrote to the DCU HR Director seeking full collective-bargaining rights for IFUT members on academic, research and professional grades across the college, without prejudice to the rights of other unions in DCU.
IFUT currently represents its members fully on an individual basis in DCU. This includes local meetings with Line Management, HR, the WRC and the Labour Court and, at national level, by engagement with the Irish Universities Association and indirectly at Public Sector Pay negotiations.
While DCU Management fully accepts and engages in this process, IFUT’s right to represent members collectively in the college remains to be clarified.
IFUT Deputy General Secretary, Frank Jones, says that members’ patience has by now been exhausted.
“At a meeting on 25 June 2018 it was decided to take all necessary steps to ensure acknowledgement of IFUT’s right to be recognised as the trade union of choice for our DCU membership. The commitment to ‘parity of esteem’, clearly referred to in the Incorporation Process of all colleges into the DCU structures, must be implemented,” he said.
Support for and recognition of DCU members’ dilemma was indicated in a recent report by Brian Sheehan in Industrial Relations News (June 21st last), related to a delayed decision by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions on the matter.
IRN stated that ICTU “has yet to fully decide on how to pursue its goal that trade union policy should “indisputably” be in favour of the right of workers to be represented by a union of their choice in the workplace. Congress General Secretary, Patricia King, explored the challenge of achieving this aim in a recent presentation.”
At IFUT’s Conference there was unanimous support and fraternity from all delegates for the plight of DCU members.
“In the coming weeks there may be a requirement for this support to be called upon, if agreement can’t be secured locally for full collective-bargaining rights,” Frank Jones said.