Motions and Rule Changes Passed at 2024 ADC

At our recent Annual Delegate Conference (ADC), IFUT adopted several crucial motions aimed at enhancing the working conditions, rights, and professional interests of our members, as well as demonstrating our commitment to international solidarity. The motions/ rule changes passed are outlined in full below.

Motion to Change the Rules: 

Conference agrees to put the following proposed amendment to the IFUT Rules to the membership for decision. The suggested amendment introduces a further object of the organisation on Social Justice, and hence the suggested wording of the whole of rule 2a is reproduced below:   

“Rule 2 OBJECTS  

LIST (a)  

The objects of the Federation shall be:  

Education & Research (i) the advancement of higher education and research;  

Academic Freedom          (ii) the promotion and protection of academic freedom;  

Social Justice                  (iii) the promotion of equity, justice and equality in both the workplace and broader society; 

Employment Conditions   (iv) the safeguarding and advancement of terms and conditions of employment of members;  

Members’ Interests          (v) the safeguarding and advancement of the professional interests of the members;  

Benefits                          (vi) the provision of appropriate benefits to members;  

Property                         (vii) the acquisition of property, both real and personal, for any lawful purpose, by way of purchase, mortgage, lease, devise or gift, and the sale, mortgage, exchange, letting or disposal of such property.   

Proposed by:  Camilla Fitzsimons, Mercedes Carbayo-Abengozar, John Reynolds, Maire Ni Mhordha, Sinead Kennedy (MU Branch) 

Seconded by:  Executive Committee 

***Please note that as the above rule change is a proposed change to the objects of the Union, it will shortly be put to the members by way of a ballot in accordance with the IFUT Rules***



Motions on Policy: 

Motion 1:  Funding of Higher Education 

In the context of growing student numbers and financial difficulties being reported across the HE sector, this ADC calls on IFUT to redouble its efforts to reverse the decline in state funding and ensure adequate resourcing for high quality, accessible public education. 

Proposed by:  UCC Branch  

Seconded by:  UCD Branch 


Motion 2:  Precarious Employment 

Following the recent publication of the IFUT report on Precarious Employment in Higher Education, which identified unacceptable levels of precarity across all Irish institutions, this conference calls on IFUT to continue and expand this campaign including a commitment to adequately resource and re-run the precarity survey in 2025. 

Proposed by:  UCC Branch 

Seconded by:  DCU Branch 


Motion 3:  Workload Models 

This conference calls on IFUT to demand that Irish universities recognise and act upon their duty of care to understand that there are many things that workload models do not adequately represent. 

Proposed by:  DCU Branch 

Seconded by:  MIC Branch 


Motion 4:  Staff Wellbeing  

At this ADC we are considering professional wellbeing.  Clearly workloads have a huge impact on the ability of members to maintain a healthy work-life balance, achieve job satisfaction and provide a high-quality educational experience for our students.  Workloads will only continue to increase, unless the Government funds the HE sector properly.  This conference calls upon IFUT to continue to lobby vigorously for increased, resources to tackle the growing reliance on precarious workers and ensure that front-line educators are appropriately supported.   

Proposed by:  Executive Committee 


Motion 5:  Flexible Working  

This ADC  calls on IFUT to continue to advocate for flexible working in our institutions.   


We call on our institutions to recognise the importance of flexible working for all workers, not least for workers providing care within families and communities.  There is a significant responsibility on the employer to facilitate workers to provide such care.   We instruct the Executive Committee of IFUT to take heed of any erosion of flexible working conditions, and resist the ongoing managerialism in our universities and research institutions.  

Proposed by:  ERC Branch 


Motion 6:  Managerialism 

IFUT notes the variety of ways in which representative consultation is curtailed by university managements and research institutions.  IFUT resolves to monitor the detailed functioning of university meetings and consider co-ordinated responses to executive overreach.  

This motion reflects growing concern from MU branch members at management’s increasing tendency to curtail debate and frustrate meaningful academic participation in the decision-making process by manipulation of minutes and agendas and by claiming executive authority to act without reference to established terms of reference that outline decision-making responsibilities, and also by flouting consultative norms, and existing collective agreements.  We ask that IFUT monitor such tendencies across the sector and that IFUT executive liaise with local branches to share strategies of resistance to autocratic governance.   

Proposed by:  MU Branch 


Motion 7:  Initial Teacher Education 

This ADC notes that: 

The Irish teacher education policyscape is undergoing significant change:  Revised Early Childhood Curriculum Framework (forthcoming NCCA 2024); Primary Curriculum Framework (2023); Senior Cycle Redevelopment (2022); Revised Standards for Initial Teacher Education (Teaching Council 2020). 

This ADC instructs the incoming IFUT Executive Committee to: 

Monitor the potential implications of such changes on the work practices of teacher educators; 

Engage with HEIs and the HEA to ensure the timely implementation of recommended staffing structures and arrangements necessary to adapt to and support the demands of the evolving teacher education policyscape. 

Proposed by:  MIC Branch 

Seconded by:  Karin Bacon (MIE Branch) 


Motion 8:  Promotions Process 

This ADC recognises the important work that Trade Unions contribute to key decision-making committees in the universities - including tenure committees and faculty promotions committees.  Some universities in Ireland - and many more internationally - invite Trade Union representatives or nominees to join faculty promotions committees, thereby ensuring fair procedures and transparency for academic staff.  This ADC calls on IFUT how common the practice is in Ireland and internationally, and to work towards explore making this practice widespread throughout the Irish higher-education institutions. 

Proposed by:  UCD Branch 


Motion 9:  Far-Right   

This ADC  notes the dangerous rise of the far-right in Ireland, which poses a direct threat to IFUT members as trade unionists, women, people of colour, migrants, and LGBTQ+ people, and to academic freedom.  We recognise that opposition to the far-right is necessary, and that trade unions should play a leading role in organising such a response.     

Proposed by:  ERC Branch 


Motion 10:  Exam Marking Fees 

In light of the restoration of similar payments/allowances across the public sector, this motion calls on the IFUT leadership to continue to pursue the restoration of the 25 per cent reduction to payments for the marking of examinations which was introduced in 2012 and has never been restored. 

Proposed by:  UCC Branch 


Motion 11:  Branch Training  

As engagement with managements appears to be becoming increasingly complex, this conference calls upon IFUT to ensure that Branch Committees and members receive appropriate training to adapt to such a scenario. 

Proposed by:  DCU Branch   

Seconded by:  TCD Branch 


Motion 12:  Solidarity with colleagues in Palestine 

The international academic community has a moral obligation to stand in solidarity with colleagues in Palestine and to advocate for their rights to life, to homes, to safe institutions, to academic freedom, free expression, and equitable access to education and research:  We are therefore calling on this conference to join the calls of human rights and civil society organisations around the world for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza; to unequivocally express solidarity with academics, researchers, and students in Palestine; to condemn all forms of violence, discrimination, and human rights abuses perpetrated against Palestinian academics and to call for their immediate cessation; and for governments, educational institutions, and international organizations to demand a ceasefire in Gaza and to use their voices to call for the establishment of safe aid corridors that can save the lives of trapped and starving Palestinians. 

Proposed by:  UCC Branch 

Seconded by:  DCU Branch 


Motion 13: BDS support and academic boycott of Israeli Institutions 

Noting that: 

  • Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories show Israel is committing the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people; 
  • The United Nations has declared apartheid a crime against humanity under ‘The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid’; 
  • The ICJ has ruled that Israel is plausibly committing genocide in Gaza.   

IFUT fully supports and endorses the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for freedom, justice and equality, and calls for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions.  

Proposed by:  UG Branch 


Motion 14:  14 Affiliations with Israeli HEIs 

In light of deliberate and systematic destruction of higher education in Gaza, the consequent killing of so many students, academics and workers by the Israeli Defence Forces, and following the historic and significant judgment of the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) ruling over potential acts of genocide in Israel's military offensive on Gaza, the ADC instructs IFUT to call on all institutions of higher education in Ireland to sever any existing institutional partnerships or affiliations with Israeli institutions. 

Proposed by:  MU Branch 


Motion 15:  Local Bargaining Fund 

This ADC instructs IFUT to explore the utilisation of the local bargaining mechanisms provided for under Section 4 of the Public Service Agreement 2024-2026 towards addressing the 12 recommendations to end precarious employment arising from the IFUT Report on Precarious Employment in Higher Education (published in 2023). 

Proposed by:  Executive Committee