“One can never have enough socks.… People will insist on giving me books”

Dear Colleagues,

With that quote from ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’, on behalf of all of the team here in Head Office I want to wish each of you- if not quite a book-free Christmas - certainly a computer-free, form filling-free, and needless meetings-free, holiday and very happyNew Year!

This past year has been both exciting and challenging for IFUT.

We have successfully pursued a number of cases related to discrimination and contract issues on behalf of our members. Some have been won at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and have set precedents to assist us with future work.  Significantly, a number of cases have been resolved through local negotiation and we hope that this will become an increasing feature of a more co-operative and partnership approach by college managements in 2019 and beyond.  We also negotiated a major pay agreement, the first in ten years, for our members in the RCSI as part of a local collective bargaining process.

There were also many challenges, including seeking to ensure progress nationally on implementation of agreed measures in the Cush Report.

We have also increased our focus on the needs and rights of Researchers, especially through the work of our new Researchers’ Committee.

By far the most frustrating aspect of 2018 was the continuing impasse in our talks with DCU and SIPTU regarding our members’ rights to be represented collectively in the new DCU.  We wish to thank our members in DCU for their forbearance as we have sought by every means possible to resolve this matter though a common sense approach, talking to everyone from the President of DCU to other union representatives in the process.

The crisis in funding of higher education has now become more acute.  We were delighted to forge strong alliances with a range of groups with similar concerns over the past year, including other education unions, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and the Irish Universities Association (IUA) to provide a more unified voice to government on behalf of  our sector. 

In 2019, we will continue to build further on our work of the past year, which has seeIFUcontinuto grow and builwith the support and hard work of the Executive, Council, Equality Committee, and Researchers’ Committee.  We are indeed also fortunate to have so many really dedicated and hardworking local representatives.  Perhaps the best example of recognition of IFUT members’ work and commitment was shown when a number of IFUT members were elected to the Governing Body of their respective universities this year.

IFUT Head Office will be closed from 1pm on the 20thof December until 9am on the 7thof January.  

On behalf of everyone in Head Office I wish to thank each and every one of you for your support during 201and we look forward to forging further success in the year ahead!

Happy Christmas and enjoy your well-deserved break.

Yours sincerely,

Joan Donegan

General Secretary