A well attended annual general meeting of the academic section of SIPTU at NUI Galway has rejected the General Public Services Agreement (the so-called ‘Croke Park Proposals’).
The resolution, agreed yesterday, maintains that ‘the Government is trying to shift even more of the burden of the financial crisis on to the backs of working families through the public sector pay agreement with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, and in so doing will undermine educational standards and ensure further bail-outs for bankers and developers’.
It is also argued that academics ‘would be required, under threat of compulsory redundancy, to accept further pay-cuts and review of our contract, to meet impossible and inappropriate ‘productivity’ targets, to be re-deployed, to undertake even longer working hours, to further increase already heavy staff workloads with resulting inability to properly do our jobs while adding risks to health and family life’.
The Galway academics are also concerned about the possible impact of the Croke Park ‘deal’ – if agreed – on students because they also will ‘face cuts to services, higher class sizes, lower standards of teaching, greater stress, less support…all of which will undermine the quality of, and likelihood of getting, their degrees’.
Furthermore, members at the meeting were worried about the impact of the ‘deal’ on the wider community because it clearly ‘ignores the effects on many sectors of people facing this economic crisis: people who are unemployed and others on low incomes facing cuts to welfare, wages and public services; children and adults with disabilities, the sick and pensioners targeted by cuts to health care and care services; mothers trying to cope with cuts to child benefit and other devastating cutbacks which make it even harder to feed, clothe and care for children; homeless people facing cuts to support and crisis housing’.
The Galway academics have, therefore, now thrown their weight behind others in Education rejecting the proposals. These include the executive of the Irish Federation of University Teachers, delegates to the recent conferences held by the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) and the Association of Secondary School Teachers of Ireland (ASTI).
A spokesperson for SIPTU (Academic Section) at NUIG commented: ‘We are trying to protect not only our own members but to safeguard the community as whole, especially the most financially hard pressed. Our motion entirely and unequivocally opposes the public sector pay and benefit cuts masquerading as a “deal”.
For further information: contact Maggie Ronayne (tel. 087 7838688)