Lecturers back in Croke Park talks

 UNIVERSITY lecturers are back in talks on the Croke Park pay and productivity deal.

Earlier talks between the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) and individual universities made little progress. New talks involving the Department of Education, the Irish Universities Association and the universities have opened, and a further meeting is scheduled for Thursday.

The negotiations have a tight deadline if they are to be completed in time for the critical review of the Croke Park agreement in May. IFUT had previously rejected the agreement. Its annual conference at the weekend decided to consider the outcome of the current negotiations in a further ballot.

IFUT president Hugh Gibbons said recent suggestions about the public service being “not fit for purpose” did not apply to the universities.

Productivity was being increased, with a 6pc staffing cut and pay cuts of up to 25pc. Most departments were struggling with reduced staffing and some are near closure, he said.

IFUT general secretary Mike Jennings called on Education Minister Ruairi Quinn to protect the rights of researchers and librarians who were being put on temporary contracts.

– Katherine Donnelly

Irish Independent – April 18 2011

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