Staff set to stage second strike over NUIG merger

Academic staff at St Angela’s college Sligo are to go ahead with a second strike over issues regarding the merger with NUI Galway.

NUIG has refused to negotiate with the Teachers’ Union of Ireland, which is the main union representing St Angela’s college. The Union has called it “an affront to all established industrial relations practices”.

The planned one-day strike will involve 60 academic staff and will take place on April 16th.

Following the first strike that took place on March 10th, Union leaders raised an impasse at a meeting with Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan on March 25.

Sligo based Senator Marc Mac Sharry has again sought the Minister to personally intervene and resolve the dispute between two colleges.

In his email to the Minister, he stated “I reiterate my call to you for your personal and urgent interrvention in this case. The entire situation reeks of elitism and discrimination.”

Under the proposed incorporation, the staff at St Angela’s fear that they would be effectively demoted from “lecturers” to “university teachers”, and would have “little or no” opportunity for further career progression.

Following the first strike, TUI Deputy General Secretary, Annette Dolan, said “Staff at St Angela’s were left with no option but to take strike action over the complete lack of engagement by management with TUI at local or national level”.

The Union representing the lecturing staff at the college insists that regional provision of third level education must continue on the campus for existing and future students.

Ms Dolan said that there was no guarantee that the provision of Home Economics and Nursing Studies will continue at St Angela’s College.

In a statement, NUIG said merger discussions were between the executives of both institutions and not with the TUI, adding “this is exactly as it should be”.

Ana Kazadojeva

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