Trinity’s New Casual Work Policy is a Win for a Group Used to Losing

Posted in Governance and administration on June 22nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“For the past few years, Trinity has lagged behind in its treatment of casual staff, much to the chagrin of – in particular – postgraduates. Trinity has not kept step with government legislation, and College’s tutorial assistants and demonstrators often feel that they are overlooked and underappreciated …” (more)

[University Times, 20 June]

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Is the move online adding to casualisation of HE work?

Posted in Governance and administration on November 8th, 2020 by steve

International“Within the emerging critical literature on edtech in higher education and its impact on academic labour, with rare exceptions, little attention has been paid to the outsourcing of teaching through online programme management providers (OPMs), and how it contributes to the casualisation of academic work inside and within traditional university settings …” (more)

[Mariya Ivancheva, Aline Courtois and Carolina Guzmán-Valenzuela, University World News, 7 November]

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On the Exploitation of Postgraduates

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on September 27th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Thinking through the implications of Friday’s announcement for teaching I saw the following advice sent out to students from Maynooth University: ‘For the next few weeks most lectures will move online. You will be invited on-campus for practical classes, tutorials and for the teaching which requires a lot of interaction …'” (more)

[In the Dark, 27 September]

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Third Level Education – NUI Galway Research Students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 26th, 2020 by steve

IrelandHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to communications from NUI Galway to postgraduate research students for them to undertake unpaid teaching contributions; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 24 September]

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NUI Galway postgraduates address school president and Simon Harris

Posted in Governance and administration on September 25th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Post-Graduate Workers’ Alliance at the National University Ireland Galway (PGWA NUIG) sent an open letter to the college president Donal Leech and the Minister for Further Education Simon Harris last night, affirming that they refuse to perform any unpaid labour for the college …” (more)

[Connie Roughan, Trinity News, 25 September]

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UCD Anti-Casualisation Suggests Unionisation of Graduate Workers

Posted in Governance and administration on June 8th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“On Friday 5th June, UCD Anti Casualisation (UCD-AC) penned an open letter to the management of University College Dublin (UCD) requesting a meeting by the end of June. On the same day, UCD-AC suggested that the group would ‘move towards unionisation’ of its members …” (more)

[Hugh Dooley, College Tribune, 8 June]

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The casualisation of academic labour

Posted in Governance and administration on June 2nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Prof Diarmaid Ferriter’s trenchant criticism of damaging trends in Irish higher education should be compulsory reading for policymakers (‘Universities are preoccupied with market growth as if educators were stocks and shares’, Opinion & Analysis, May 29th) …” (more)

[Brian Murphy, Irish Times, 2 June]

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Postgraduate and ‘casual’ teaching staff are taken for granted by Trinity

Posted in Governance and administration on December 4th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Contrary to popular belief, teaching and lecturing at university by no means automatically guarantees secure employment, ample time to pursue research, and a cosy office in which to do it. Over the past decade or so, especially since the recession in 2008/09, Irish universities, and indeed universities throughout the world, have begun to rely more and more on hourly paid or temporary staff to cover tutorials, seminars, lectures, and lab sessions …” (more)

[Trinity News, 3 December]

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Insecure academics – just how much do universities rely on casual teaching staff?

Posted in Governance and administration on March 6th, 2018 by steve

“Casual staff have always played an important role in university teaching. Many graduate students and postdocs supplement their income by delivering lectures and tutorials, gaining valuable experience and often doing a great job. But has casualization gone too far? …” (more)

[CDBU, 6 March]

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TCD staff vote for strike action over temporary deals for new starters

Posted in Governance and administration on April 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Members of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) in Trinity College Dublin have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action as they seek ‘full discussions’ with the college on employment practices. The staff in the administration, library and support staff categories voted by 27-3 in support of industrial action, including strike action, over plans to make all future appointments in these areas on a temporary-contract basis …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 18 April]

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IFUT vote for strike action over ‘mass casualisation’ in TCD

Posted in Governance and administration on April 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Members of IFUT in the Administration, Library and Support Staff categories in Trinity College, Dublin, have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action over plans to make all future appointments in these areas on a temporary contract basis …” (more)

[Irish Federation of University Teachers, 17 April]

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Casualisation of employment in academia

Posted in Governance and administration on April 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Well done to Peter McGuire for his insightful article on the casualisation of staff in third-level education (‘Casual contracts: the precarious world of academia’, Education, April 4th) …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 5 April]


Is this the end of job security in academia?

Posted in Governance and administration on April 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Academia was once among the most respectable and secure careers. In recent years, however, it has become one of the most precarious places to work. Younger lecturers struggle to get any hours while permanent and established academic staff are so overwhelmed that they have little choice but to push more administrative work on their younger colleagues …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 4 April]

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Trinity’s New ‘Diktat’ for Staff Reveals the Darker Side of Commercialisation

Posted in Governance and administration on January 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“For the first time in years, we might see a possible strike inside the walls of Trinity. A ‘diktat’ from College, which will see an end to promotions for support and service staff and the introduction of temporary contracts for all new employees, has been heavily and rightly attacked by SIPTU, IFUT and UNITE …” (more)

[University Times, 22 January]

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Limiting PhDs creates the wrong kind of elite

Posted in Governance and administration on January 5th, 2017 by steve

“Whether or not you’re entirely convinced by the figures on casualisation recently publicised by the UK’s University and College Union, it is beyond dispute that increasing numbers of PhD graduates are being forced into short-term, insecure work to sustain their academic careers. There simply are not enough permanent jobs out there for all those qualified to do them …” (more)

[Tom Cutterham, Times Higher Education, 5 January]

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38% of Trinity Staff Employed on Temporary Contracts

Posted in Governance and administration on December 14th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“38% of Trinity staff are employed on temporary contracts, with academic staff making up 40% of the temporary staff employed by Trinity, according to figures in a new report seen by The University Times …” (more)

[John Conway, University Times, 14 December]

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Precarious work is no longer atypical in academia

Posted in Governance and administration on December 14th, 2016 by steve

“The furore that greeted the recent publication of University and Colleges Union’s (UCU) analysis of data on precarious employment saw the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and several universities set about attempting to trash UCU’s use of the available numbers. In the process, they presented an image of a sector in strenuous denial …” (more)

[Jonathan White, Wonkhe, 13 December]

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Academia is now incompatible with family life, thanks to casual contracts

Posted in Life on December 2nd, 2016 by steve

UK“I have just returned from my last conference of the season – half a dozen in total, across the UK and Europe. One theme kept cropping up in conversations with fellow attendees: job insecurity, and the impact it is having on our families and lives …” (more)

[Guardian, 2 November]

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UK universities have developed a casual disregard for their staff

Posted in Governance and administration on November 21st, 2016 by steve

UK“Your articles on insecure employment at UK universities (University staff contracts ‘like Sports Direct’, 17 November) rightly draw attention to the appalling position of those on casual contracts (Dawn cleaning shift, shower, then teach: survival as a lecturer, 17 November; Universities are using casual contracts to put profit before people,, 17 November). There is, however, an important additional dimension: ‘permanent’ jobs at universities are often permanent in name only …” (more)

[Letters, Guardian, 20 November]

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Universities accused of ‘importing Sports Direct model’ for lecturers’ pay

Posted in Governance and administration on November 16th, 2016 by steve

UK“One of the most highly skilled and prestigious professions in Britain, university teaching, is now dominated by zero-hours contracts, temp agencies and other forms of precarious work, the Guardian can reveal. New analysis reveals that it is the richest Russell Group institutions that rely most heavily on insecure academic workers …” (more)

[Aditya Chakrabortty and Sally Weale, Guardian, 16 November]

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