Institute of Technology lecturers remain “far from convinced” by the move towards technological university status.
Over half of lecturers believe that their institute should not merge and apply for technological status, according to a recent survey carried out by the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI).
TUI, which represents 4,000 lecturers and researchers in Institutes of Technology, found that 49 per cent of lecturers would prefer if their university remained standalone, while a further 40 per cent disagreed that their institute should develop merger proposals with another institute.
When commenting on the findings, TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann said that the union is not against the concept of Technological Universities, but is “unimpressed by the rationale and the model currently on offer, a position backed up by the findings of this survey”.
The union is also concerned that some institutes have not adequately consulted with lecturers on the issue and have not provided the required information relating to plans to merge with other institutes.
MacGabhann said that if consultation and information is not fully provided for, “TUI will utilise all options open to it” to protect the interest of their members.
TUI will not accept the possibility that any members of staff could be arbitrarily transferred to other public sector bodies on ‘establishment day’ of a merged entity or Technological University. “Any such attempt will be opposed, by means of industrial action if necessary,” MacGabhann said.
The union also has fears that tensions may develop between the Head of Bill for Technological Universities and the Haddington Road agreement, which TUI members voted to accept, and have insisted that the “protections of this agreement must prevail for its full duration”.
TUI is “unequivocal” in insisting that any existing agreements on terms and conditions of employment be continued should a transfer to a new institution take place.