Members of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) in Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) will take strike action on Tuesday, 19th November over the failure of Institute management to adhere to national collective agreements, respect industrial relations mechanisms, engage in transparent and meaningful consultation with the TUI on a range of key issues and plan in a rational and strategic way to safeguard and enhance the College by moving towards Technological University status.
The serving of strike notice follows a ballot of TUI members in the college in which an overwhelming 99.1% of members delivered an unequivocal mandate for industrial action over a range of serious concerns.
‘Fifth school’ plan at odds with DkIT’s mission
Members have grave and growing concerns regarding the DkIT’s strategic future. For example, one of the issues that prompted the ballot was the emergence of a plan to establish a fifth school within the Institute, a plan sprung unilaterally and without consultation. The plan, if implemented would dispense with established academic quality assurance practices and oversight, and introduce what the TUI describe as a ‘high cost/low quality’ model of education provision, which is totally at odds with the traditional mission of Dundalk Institute of Technology to provide high quality and affordable education accessible to all.
Culture of ill-conceived unilateral diktat
Under the current presidency in DkIT, staff has experienced an increasingly autocratic and dysfunctional approach which has attempted to suppress open discussion and replace the traditional collaborative way of doing business with a culture of ill-conceived unilateral diktat, of which this fifth school plan is just one instance, and which is in breach of both national and local agreements.
TUI members will not cooperate with any imposed change and especially one that would have the effect of breaching national agreements
Failure to move towards Technological University designation
In spite of the fact that staff overwhelmingly support an immediate move toward Technological University status, the DkIT President’s Office has gone to extraordinary lengths to prevent discussion of the Technological University option in academic forums. DkIT management is foolishly running the risk of leaving the institute isolated and vulnerable. This would be to the detriment of the communities and the region that that DkIT serves.
TUI open to constructive engagement on these issues
Strike notice has been served, but TUI representatives in the college remain open to real and constructive engagement with management on these critical issues.