Date Uploaded: 05/02/2016
Across the country today lecturers in all 14 Institutes of Technology (IOT) are on strike.
Speaking on Morning Ireland, Dr Tom O’Connor, lecturer in Economics and Social Policy in Cork IT, defended the action.
“Our job for our students is becoming increasingly intolerable with the casualization of part-time lecturers the shortage of essential equipment in the labs.”
He said that the decision to go on strike was “the last resort”.
Dr O’Connor said that, “€190m worth of cuts over the period between 2008-15 and [taken on] 24,400 more students it’s becoming breaking point and intolerable.”
“The IOT’s have a great reputation of equipping students for the labour market and sometimes that means emigration… the lecturers have been doing excellent work, but they’re being sabotaged,” he added.
He cited several grievances on air and dismissed a report being compiled on casualization of workers as “a classic approach… to try put a lid on it”.
Among his grievances were the casualization of part-time lecturers, shortage of equipment and overcrowding.
Dr O’Connor said, “We want to eliminate casualization of part-time workers in the IOT sector – lecturers who are being employed for short periods of time without proper pay and conditions who are living on poverty wages.
“Some lecturers could be living on €10,000 to €15,000 a year and they are expected to come in and deliver a high quality service in a very competitive environment,” he added.
Adding, “[Lecturers] are entitled to proper contracts of employment for all the hours they work… these lecturers are there not being able to buy houses, they’re stuck on high rents, they are under enormous pressure.”