Lecturers at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and Institute of Technology Carlow (IT Carlow) are set to stage a work-for-rule to highlight concerns over the application process for Technological University status.
Academic staff who are members of Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) have voted for industrial action as they believe there has been a lack of communication from management over plans to apply for designation as a Technological University.
Management have not met with academic staff representatives to inform or consult with on plans regarding potential designation as a Technological University, according to WIT TUI Branch Secretary Kathleen Moore Walsh. “This is not acceptable to our members,” said Moore Walsh.
In a statement issued to Trinity News, WIT President Professor Willie Donnelly outlines that he “publicly stated [his] commitment to ensure that all staff have an opportunity to help shape the new TU environment”.
Donnelly explained that WIT is “fully aware” of the proposed industrial action. He noted that WIT is “committed” to working with TUI to find a resolution.
IT Carlow TUI Branch Chair Claus Derenda outlined that the proceedings would require “engagement” similar to that of the TU4Dublin consortium in order to make a “successful application”.
WIT and IT Carlow are pursuing Technological University status as a consortium under the name Technological University for the South-East (TUSE). Between 2013 and 2017, TUSE have received €720,000 in Exchequer funding.
President Donnelly confirmed that TUSE has made a submission to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) seeking support in developing an application for Technological University status.
The Department of Education approved the establishment of Ireland’s first Technological University earlier this summer, with Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), IT Blanchardstown, and IT Tallaght set to be dissolved as individual entities and amalgamate to form Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) in January.
Discord emerged between officials at DIT and those at IT Tallaght and IT Blanchardstown during the application process as DIT academics felt “excluded” in the consortium. In a letter to the Chairman of the college’s governing body, Professor Tom Collins, 18 heads of schools at DIT reported that heads of schools in Tallaght and Blanchardstown were made “ex-officio members of the senior team discussing the future of the technological university”.