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There is a Government commitment in the Public Service Agreement (PSA) that compulsory redundancy will not apply to lecturers in the Public Service.
Discussions have commenced with the Department of Education and Skills and the management of the Institutes of Technology in relation to redeployment for lecturing grades.
The Department of Education and Skills at the meeting held in December 2011 referred to the commitment under the PSA to negotiation of a redeployment protocol and to the subsequent identification of this need in the context of the Labour Relations Commission-facilitated meeting on 5th August 2011 regarding the case of the apprenticeship lecturers in Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT).
The DES also advised that the Education Sector Implementation Group had recently commented on the absence of redeployment schemes in respect of academic grades in the Higher Education area.
The DES have advised that there will be adherences to the principles that underpin the existing, agreed redeployment protocols for other parts of the education sector.
The TUI acknowledged that the PSA commits the parties to negotiation of a redeployment protocol. In regard to the negotiation to date TUI welcomes:
the adherence to the principles that inform the existing protocols in the education sector
the clear identification of re-assignment as the preferred and primary option and process that must be utilised before there is recourse to redeployment.
The union have expressed concern about
the reference to the ECF, in that the retrenchments resulting from the ECF may be mischievously applied by Institute management to engineer the redeployment of particular individuals or of particular cohorts of lecturers out of particular generic areas.
the apparent lack of synchronicity between the development of protocols for the IoT and university sectors.
the potential for a double bind applying to recruitment in second level (in the event of redeployment into that sector from third level) .
The union also
identified the need for any protocol to recognise that a significant number of lecturers work across departments and
stressed that coherent and timely re-training provision must be made available in order to facilitate and optimise the value of re-assignment.
The union stated that the matter of deepest concern and importance concerned the Institutes’ internal process for identifying and selecting staff for redeployment. The union will not countenance a tap-on-the-shoulder process that would be open to abuse and facilitate the inappropriate use of redeployment.
TUI will insist on adherence to the principles that underpin the existing, agreed redeployment protocols for other parts of the education sector.