Chalk the talk: Teachers Union lead strike on funding cuts

The Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) believe that the public reaction to their strike last Wednesday was “extremely positive”.

The union and staff members from the fourteen institutes of technology around Ireland held a demonstration in the front square of Trinity College as well as a number of other areas due to concerns over funding for the teaching sector.

Speaking to The College View, Press Officer for the TUI, Colin Griffin said that the organisation felt that the strike was a great success.

“Today was about making a stand and highlighting that the Institute of Technology sector and its service to students has been severely hit by an era of anti-educational cutbacks” he said.

The strike comes after the TUI, which has over 4000 members in the education industry in Ireland, held a national ballot last December. The members voted overwhelmingly in support of industrial action with 92 per cent in favour of the strike.

The union have said that they are frustrated with the lack of support they have received from the government.

They say that a 35 per cent drop in funding since 2008 has made lecturers jobs increasingly difficult in the face of rising student numbers. There are now 32 per cent more students in third level education in Ireland whereas the lecturer numbers are down by 10 per cent.

The TUI strike received support from the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) who said that they were “standing in solidarity” with the union.

In a press release following the strike, USI President Kevin Donoghue said that they believe that the teaching sector was underfunded and that this would have a negative effect on students.

“Understaffed classes and underfunded Institutes of Technology mean a poorer standard of teaching and in turn a poorer standard of learning.” he said.

The marches were attended by a number of high profile individuals including the Social Democrat candidate for Dublin Bay South Glenna Lynch.

Students in ITs around the country were given a day off last Wednesday and the union warned that more strikes may be necessary if changes aren’t made to funding.
Aidan Delaney

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