Wednesday, 1 March 2017
Department of Education and Skills
Third Level Staff
66. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his views on recent plans announced by the board of Trinity College, which will make a secure future or career advancement for many staff an impossibility; the way this might impact on the Government strategy for the third level sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10461/17]
Following enquiries from my officials, I understand that discussions are taking place locally and under the auspices of the Workplace Relations Commission between Trinity College Dublin and the unions that are addressing the concerns of staff. Accordingly, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on these issues while these discussions are ongoing.
In May 2016 I welcomed the publication of the Report of the Chair of the Expert Group on Fixed Term and Part-Time issues in Lecturing in Ireland. The Report contains a number of recommendations that will assist in addressing concerns raised about the level of part-time and fixed-term employment in lecturing in the third level sector.
My Department issued directions to the sector on the 4th July 2016 to implement the recommendations contained in the report in accordance with the terms of the Lansdowne Road Agreement and my understanding is that the Institutions are taking steps to do so.
The above-mentioned Report is specific to concerns raised about part-time and fixed-term employment in lecturing and its recommendations are not applicable to non-lecturing grades.
In line with the Universities Act, 1997, third-level institutions have autonomy in relation to human resource policies, subject to compliance with Government policy in respect of employment numbers and pay policy. Employers in the higher education sector are also required to operate in accordance with the provisions of national industrial relations agreements.