TUI News Ballot Special

Posted in Governance and administration on May 30th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“This ballot concerns the proposed TUI, DES and THEA Agreement, May 2017, on Technological Universities. If members vote to accept the proposed agreement, the current industrial action (that is, not to cooperate with any merger activities relating to the proposed Technological Universities) will be suspended …” (more)

[Teachers’ Union of Ireland, 30 May]

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Technological Universities: Agreement with TUI

Posted in Governance and administration on May 25th, 2017 by steve

IrelandCarol Nolan (Offaly, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the details of the deal he has reached with a union (details supplied) regarding the Technological Universities Bill 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 23 May]

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Third Level Staff – Trinity College

Posted in Governance and administration on March 2nd, 2017 by steve

IrelandBríd Smith (Dublin South Central, People Before Profit Alliance): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his views on recent plans announced by the board of Trinity College, which will make a secure future or career advancement for many staff an impossibility; the way this might impact on the Government strategy for the third level sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 1 March]

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Under-managed universities

Posted in Life on March 1st, 2017 by steve

“I have been having some interesting conversations with folks recently about ‘overwork’ in academia. It is clear to me that a lot of professors are absolutely frazzled. It is also clear to me that on average professors work hard – not necessarily because The Man is standing over them with a whip but because as a rule academics are professional and driven …” (more)

[Alex Usher, HESA, 1 March]

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Students cross a picket line every day

Posted in Life on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“I grew up surrounded by trade unionists. I distinctly remember seeing a news report about an industrial action on the news when my mother said: ‘If I ever crossed a picket line, my father would turn in his grave’. Her father, my grandfather, was born in inner-city Dublin, and having helped build the ESB coal burning station in Ringsend, went on to work there for decades as a turbine driver …” (more)

[Daire O’Driscoll, Trinity News, 25 February]

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Third Level Staff – Precarious contracts and poor work conditions

Posted in Governance and administration on January 21st, 2017 by steve

IrelandBríd Smith (Dublin South Central, People Before Profit Alliance): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the Action Plan for Education will address the increasing use of precarious contracts and poor work conditions and pay in the third level institutions for lecturers and other workers; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 18 January]

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‘A study of workaholism in Irish academics’

Posted in Life on September 21st, 2016 by steve

IrelandAbstract. Background: Workaholism is recognized as a health risk for academics given the open-ended nature of academic work; however, current prevalence rates of workaholism in the academic setting are unknown. Aims: To assess the prevalence of workaholism within academics and determine the impact of workaholism on psychological well-being, work–life conflict, work–life fit, job satisfaction and perceived work effort …” (more)

[Occupational Medicine, Volume 66, Issue 6, pp. 460-465 (2016)].


Third-level staff being exploited

Posted in Governance and administration on September 9th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Following your article on the slide in world rankings of Irish universities, I must admit I find the report entirely unsurprising (‘Irish universities continue to fall in global rankings’, September 6th). No business would treat its staff in the way in which Irish universities currently do, and expect to achieve any degree of success …” (more)

[E Desmond, Irish Times, 9 September]

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‘Normative Isomorphism: Is Irish Academic Work-Life the Same in Different Institutional Types in the Universal Phase of Higher Education?’

Posted in Life on February 3rd, 2016 by steve

IrelandAbstract: Academic work-life in the universal phase of higher education has reportedly involved an extreme intensification and diversification of academic roles. International empirical research supports the hypothesis that academic staff are spending more time at work, are reporting diminishing morale, and are experiencing erosion of their values of academic freedom, autonomy and collegiality. What has not yet been adequately investigated is the extent to which this experience of academic work-life is the same or different depending on institutional type, thus identifying the research problem addressed in this thesis … (more)

[Amanda Moynihan, DIT PhD Theses, 2015]

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‘A Survey of Academic Staff on Working Conditions at Dublin City University’, DCU SIPTU report, just published

Posted in Governance and administration on December 4th, 2015 by steve

IrelandForeword I am delighted to introduce this survey of academic staff on working conditions at DCU carried out by the SIPTU Section Committee. As DCU moves towards the ‘incorporation’ of St Patrick’s College Drumcondra, Mater Dei Institute of Education and the Church of Ireland College of Education it is vital that the union benchmarks staff conditions as change (not always positive) will be the order of the day …” (more, download)

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Young academics: The great betrayal

Posted in Life on August 25th, 2015 by steve

UK“Poorly paid and treated with contempt, the plight of early career researchers in the humanities is the result of a systemic betrayal of a generation of academics, argues Mathew Lyons …” (more)

[History Today, 24 August]

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Zero-hour numbers still unclear despite year-long study

Posted in Governance and administration on July 23rd, 2015 by steve

UK“Insufficient data make it impossible to quantify the number of higher education staff on zero-hours contracts, a report says. After more than a year of collaboration between universities and trade unions to shed light on the ‘casualisation’ of academic staff, a working group was unable to reach a consensus on how many staff were employed on casual or hourly paid contracts ..” (more)

[Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 23 July]

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Aidan Kenny, ‘Work-related Stress: Survey of academic staff in the Institutes of Technology sector’

Posted in Life on July 13th, 2015 by steve

IrelandAbstract: This article presents findings from a survey of professional workers in the institutes of technology sector in Ireland regarding work-related stress. The research instrument was based on a work-related stress questionnaire developed by the UK Health and Safety Executive, augmented with a specific subset of questions relevant to the Irish higher education sector. The questionnaire format was modified to enable online delivery. It was distributed to a sample population in 2014 with a response rate over 30% (n=1,131). The research provides baseline data on work-related stress levels experienced by workers in this sector. The results associate increased levels of risk of work-related stress in circumstances of poor consultation, lack of engagement with staff, excessive workload, demanding task with unrealistic deadlines and lack of support provided by management. Low risk levels were associated with peer support and relationships. Good social relations between workers seem to assist in the alleviation of the risk. The results support established research into work-related stress which claims that developing supportive working environments and work cultures can greatly assist in the reduction of risk levels.”

Recommended Citation: Kenny A. (2015) Work-related Stress: Survey of academic staff in the Institutes of Technology Sector, DIT Level3, Issue 13, June 2015.

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TUI motion on precarious and casualised work passed by ICTU’s biennial conference

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 10th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The following TUI motion on precarious and casualised work was passed by ICTU’s biennial conference on Wednesday. ‘Precarious and Casualised Work, Session 4: Public Services Motion 37: Congress notes that Article 25 of the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights, 1948 states that Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family …'” (more)

[Teachers’ Union of Ireland, 8 July]

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Precarious employment widespread in Higher Education, says IFUT

Posted in Governance and administration on July 9th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Precarious employment is rampant in Higher Education, Mike Jennings, General Secretary of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) said today, addressing the Biennial Conference of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions …” (more)

[Irish Federation of University Teachers, 8 July]

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A feminist leaves NeoLiberal U

Posted in Life on July 6th, 2015 by steve

USA“Liz Morrish replies to a feminist colleague’s letter of resignation. I was very sorry to read your letter of resignation. I was, though, delighted that you decided to circulate it among colleagues at NeoLiberal U …” (more)

[Liz Morrish, Academic Irregularities, 1 July]


College lecturers say they are spending more time teaching ‘basic skills’

Posted in Life, Teaching on June 22nd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“College lecturers are spending longer hours on ‘pastoral’ work due to the increasing number of students entering third-level with complex needs, including language difficulties and a lack of basic writing skills …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 22 June]

[The report is here.]

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TUI Study on Work-related Stress Experiences of Academics in the Institutes of Technology Sector

Posted in Governance and administration on June 18th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The study is the preliminary phase of a campaign on work-related stress seeking to inform members, advise branches and seek employers to fulfil their obligations. The survey results will be used as baseline data for comparative analysis …” (more, download)

[Teachers’ Union of Ireland, 18 June]

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