By James Mc Cabe
UCD PRESIDENT, Hugh Brady is proposing a series of cost-cutting measures such as pay-freezes and voluntary redundancies for staff. This tactic is typical of Brady’s neo-liberal agenda, which has seen dramatic library cutbacks and the introduction of student health service charges in the past couple of years. Meanwhile he and his vice presidents earn salaries of over ?200,000.
These attacks on pay, jobs and conditions for staff are being replicated throughout third level around the country. On top of this Brian Cowen’s pension levy is another pay cut that staff are having to endure.
The Irish Federation of University Teachers, TUI and SIPTU should discuss a united response to these attacks including the Cowen pay cut. With an announcement on student fees due in a matter of weeks, there is a golden opportunity for the trade unions to unite with USI and local students’ unions to organise a co-ordinated response.
There are common interests between staff and students. The cuts being imposed on staff by university management will impact on the quality of education, and the introduction of fees will deny access to third level education for thousands of young people.
A united campaign by staff and students against the attacks on pay, jobs and conditions as well as fees would be a powerful force that could force this weak government to back down.