New Joint Programmes Between Further and Higher Education.
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) describes launch as premature - significant industrial relations issues remain.
TUI General Secretary, Michael Gillespie, today described the launch of a pilot project of New Joint Programmes between Further and Higher Education as premature.
“The launch, scheduled for Friday 7th July, is imprudent as significant industrial relations issues raised by the TUI remain to be addressed and resolved. The Minister’s haste is regrettable as it puts in jeopardy programmes that may well have merit, if properly approached, resourced, and implemented.”
Mr. Gillespie stated that the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (FHERIS), the National Tertiary Office (NTO), the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the management bodies initially failed to consult the TUI in relation to the proposed programmes “which have major implications for our members working in both Education and Training Boards (ETBs) and Technological Universities.” The ongoing consultation that has now been initiated has not reached a satisfactory conclusion.
“The TUI lodged grievances through the formal agreed procedures. The issues set out in grievances on behalf of TUI members have not yet been fully addressed, much less resolved. It would be most unwise of the Department or other parties to ignore the genuine concerns raised by TUI members who will be delivering these programmes.
Until a resolution of the significant issues involved is secured, the participation of TUI members in Education and Training Boards and Technological Universities in the pilot programme cannot be guaranteed. As always, we are prepared to engage constructively through the appropriate mechanisms.”
Mr Gillespie stated that any efforts by the National Tertiary Office (NTO) unilaterally to force through the pilot programmes will be resisted, adding that “the NTO would be better advised to provide the TUI with the written assurances our members require and that we, on their behalf, have sought.”
He also warned that any attempt by the relevant employers – ETBs or Technological Universities – to proceed with implementation of the pilot programmes in the absence of resolution of outstanding issues with acceptable written clarifications, will be resolutely opposed. “The TUI will not accept ill-conceived unilateralism of that kind.”
Mr Gillespie advised that while representatives of the TUI will attend the event on Friday, “we will be there to observe and to listen, not to endorse.”
“The TUI will, as always, be constructive but that needs to be a two-way street.”