The New Provost Must Tackle Precarious Employment in Trinity

Posted in Governance and administration on April 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Two striking trends sum up the profile of Trinity’s staff over the last five years: 42% of all staff are on fixed term contracts, including 25% of core funded staff and almost a quarter of all staff on academic grades. There has been a 40% increase in the proportion of senior managers …” (more)

[John Walsh, University Times, 7 April]

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North: QUBSU staff win emphatic victory

Posted in Governance and administration on December 24th, 2020 by steve

“Unite members at Queen’s University Belfast Students’ Union (QUBSU) are celebrating a major victory in their impressive, seven-week-long campaign for respect and pay justice. The campaign developed after workers on zero-hour, casual contracts were left without pay since August as a result of the refusal of university authorities to enroll them on the government Job Retention Scheme (JRS) …” (more)

[Socialist Party, 22 December]

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Queen’s University place 40 zero hours workers back on furlough

Posted in Governance and administration on December 15th, 2020 by steve

“Queen’s University has placed around 40 zero hours workers back on furlough. The employees, mainly those involved in working in events, conferencing and catering at the Student’s Union, had been removed from the government backed support scheme at the end of July …” (more)

[Mark Bain, Belfast Telegraph, 15 December]

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‘Not Only Callous, But Inexplicable’

Posted in Governance and administration on December 7th, 2020 by steve

“Unite Hospitality Union has called on Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) to act and to place student union workers back on furlough immediately. Many members of staff were removed from the government funded job retention scheme at the end of July and have not received any payments since. As a result of this decision all these workers are struggling to pay their most basic bills and rent …” (more)

[Caoimhe Garland, Look Left, 7 December]

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QUBSU Workers Demand Respect From Queen’s University

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

“In July, Queen’s University removed a number of casual staff members from The Speakeasy and other QUBSU facilities from the scope of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). This decision came as a result of the ‘unprecedented times’ and on-going uncertainties surrounding how semester one would look at Queen’s …” (more)

[Jessica Lawrence, The Gown, 29 November]

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Queen’s University slammed as zero hours staff sidelined

Posted in Governance and administration on November 28th, 2020 by steve

“A trade union has branded the response of Queen’s University to a collective grievance raised by zero hours employees at student union facilities which have had to close temporarily due to Covid restrictions as ‘disgraceful’. Unite said the decision not to place employees on furlough now leaves zero hours workers facing impoverishment, with almost half of the workers also losing their accommodation due to financial hardship …” (more)

[Mark Bain, Belfast Telegraph, 28 November]

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On social welfare, unable to buy a house: The reality facing Ireland’s academics

Posted in Life on November 18th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“‘I’ve never settled down. You can end up not having a family. I don’t have pets – I foster – as you just don’t know if you’re going to be around or not.’ Dr Ingrid Holme, adjunct research fellow in sociology at UCD, has worked as a lecturer and researcher in universities across Ireland and the UK for more than the past decade …” (more)

[Maria Delaney,, 15 November]

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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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Third Level Staff – Precarity

Posted in Governance and administration on October 3rd, 2020 by steve

IrelandPaul Murphy (Dublin South West, RISE): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the use of postgraduates in precarious positions for teaching and other duties is increasing in NUIG and that the university expects postgraduate workers to carry out unpaid teaching; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that postgraduates at NUIG have declared their intention to refuse to carry out work which is not remunerated at the existing collectively bargained rate; and the steps he will take to meet the demands of postgraduate workers (details supplied) …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 1 October]

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University and college staff being paid in book tokens, Oireachtas told

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

Ireland“Some staff at financially struggling universities and colleges are being paid in book tokens, the Oireachtas spending watchdog has heard. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is to ask the Higher Education Authority to appear before TDs to answer questions about the impact of gaping deficits in third-level funding …” (more)

[Brian Hutton and Shauna Bowers, Irish Times, 24 September]

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Dutch university protests, start of another year …

Posted in Governance and administration on September 5th, 2020 by steve

“Last Monday was the opening of the academic year at Dutch Universities. Over the last three years, it has become a tradition for the activist group WOinActie to organise some sort of protest. This year, there was the challenge of how to organise a protest given COVID, but a solution was found …” (more)

[Ingrid Robeyns, Crooked Timber, 5 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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The Current Status of the ‘Cush’ Agreement May, 2020

Posted in Governance and administration on May 29th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Members will be aware of the ‘Report to the Minister for Education and Skills of the Chairperson of the Expert group on Fixed-Term and Part-Time Employment in Lecturing in Third Level Education in Ireland’, aka the ‘Cush’ Report. This Report was published in June of 2016 with its recommendations accepted as policy by the Department of Education and Skills in July of 2016 …” (more)

[IFUT, 28 May]

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The struggle to save and remake public higher education

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

International“Public higher education is at serious risk. Universities premised on knowledge creation and dissemination for the public good are on shakier terrain than before. The higher education sector in South Africa and globally was already in a fragile condition – some would say a crisis – before the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated campus shutdowns began …” (more)

[Laura Czerniewicz, University World News, 30 April]

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IFUT Calls for ‘Urgent’ Funding Extensions on PhD Research Projects

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“The Irish Federation of University teachers (IFUT) has expressed concerns that PhD students and postdoctoral researchers may be forced to drop out of their contracts if their grants are not extended due to the coronavirus pandemic. A number of grant funders have committed to providing no-cost extensions to research projects that have fallen behind schedule due to the closure of universities, but they have not committed to extending funding for these projects …” (more)

[Alex Connolly, University Times, 15 April]

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Staff Continue to Receive Pay as Campus Shuts for Business

Posted in Governance and administration on March 22nd, 2020 by steve

“Businesses on UCD campus and around Ireland have abruptly shut down due to the university shutdown, which has affected their staff. This is one of many disruptive changes on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. The UCD Clubhouse has been forced to close its doors for an indeterminate length of time. While many students would give their right arm to be back there now, the closure means uncertainty for its staff. The bar has committed to pay all full-time salaried staff and also part-time staff up to the end of the current published roster …” (more)

[Conor Paterson, College Tribune, 22 March]

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We are all precarious now. Can technology help us?

Posted in Governance and administration on March 18th, 2020 by steve

“Universities in their modern, globalised, massified, form have emerged amid the general belief that the world is a safe place. Being predictable and safe meant that the only thing to worry about was gaining certificates, skills, jobs and a place to live. Coronavirus has quickly changed this reality …” (more)

[Mark Johnson, Wonkhe, 18 March]

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Coronavirus: Campus closure leads to loss of catering jobs at UCC

Posted in Governance and administration on March 15th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“University College Cork is to seek a meeting with Kylemore Services Group (KSG) after the company laid off catering staff at the campus following its closure this week arising out of the Covid-19 outbreak. A spokesman for UCC said he was unable to comment on the specifics in relation to KSG …” (more)

[Olivia Kelleher, Irish Examiner, 15 March]

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Coronavirus: Solidarity with catering workers laid off at UCC

Posted in Governance and administration on March 15th, 2020 by steve

“There has been widespread solidarity shown with catering workers in University College Cork, who have been laid off from their posts amid the shut-down of the campus. Kylemore (KSG) has the contract to provide catering services to UCC but, following the Government’s directive to close colleges, it is understood a number of staff who worked in the university have been laid off …” (more)

[Sarah O’Dwyer, EchoLive, 15 March]

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