Cork Institute of Technology Lecturers to strike over ‘funding and educational crisis’

1 February 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth

Logo of CIT, the institution to which the strike action relates

Cork Institute of Technology lecturers and researchers will take a day’s strike action on Wednesday, February 3rd over a range of crisis issues within their sector.  The strike has been organised by the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI), which represents 4,000 academic staff in Institutes of Technology. This is a national day of action by the TUI and is related to the funding of the Higher Education sector. It follows an overwhelming mandate from members for industrial action after a national ballot in December.

Summary of what’s happening:

What? Strike action by Cork Institute of Technology lecturers

Why? Over a range of crisis issues within sector

Key areas of concern include:

· The hugely detrimental effect of an era of cutbacks on the quality of service to students (larger class sizes, less access to laboratories, tutorials, student support etc.)

· The chronic underfunding of the Institutes of Technology (35% cut to sector- €190m – between 2008 and 2015) [CIT Statistic: 1/3 cut in CIT Budget]

· The critically low staffing levels in the sector at a time of a steep and ongoing increase in student numbers and the consequential unacceptable workload imposition on lecturers (21,411 or 32% rise in student numbers in sector between 2008 and 2015 / 535 or 9.5% fall in full-time academic staff numbers in sector between 2008 and 2015) [CIT Statistics: reduction of 97 CIT lecturing staff, 31% increase in student numbers] and

· The precarious employment status, income poverty and associated exploitation of many academic staff

When? Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Where? Outside main entrances to all of the constituent colleges’ buildings of Cork Institute of Technology including:

· CIT Bishopstown Campus (three entrances to CIT: on Rossa Avenue, & Rossa Ave./Melbourne Rd.)

· CIT Department of Architecture (Rossa Ave./Melbourne Rd. & Copley St.)

· CIT Cork School of Music (Union Quay)

· CIT National Maritime College of Ireland (at entrance on L2545 in Ringaskiddy)

· CIT Cork College of Art & Design (Sharman Crawford St.)

The strike action is supported by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).


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