Students vs staff in the Great Crisis?

According to some reports, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) have called for a renegotiation of the Croke Park agreement – the agreement between the Irish government and the public sector trade unions under which further pay cuts for public servants were ruled out – in order to protect student ‘frontline services’. Although I have not seen any elaboration of this demand, it means, presumably, that the USI want salaries to be cut and the savings re-allocated to the teaching and student services budgets in the universities and colleges.

It is unlikely, I would think, that the government will want to re-open the Croke Park agreement just for the universities, and in any case that would generate a fairly strong union response. But it will be interesting to see whether this demand gets traction, and what the nature of the debate will be, should there be one. I am not aware, so far, of any trade union response, nor indeed any response by the universities and institutes.

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17 Comments on “Students vs staff in the Great Crisis?”

  1. Robert Browne Says:

    |Finally, the students are waking up to the major cause of their ills which is the totally unrealistic levels of pay being meted out to lecturers and full time staffers, the cost of which is pushed down the line to students.

    This spin about trying to protect students is most disingenuous. The service can be delivered a minimum of 40% less to the tax payer and that money can be used to protect lower paid staff and reduce student fees, blithely referred to as “registration fees”.

    Croke Park is why we now have the IMF and if it is not got rid of it is why we will have and unstructured default similar to Argentina. University staff are there sucking their thumb pretending it has nothing to do with them, when in fact it has everything to do with them.

    Yes, I am afraid it is students versus staff. How many lecturers marched with their students on the recent marches? How many students will march to support overpaid lecturers?

    • Al Says:

      Robert
      You could articulate your views a little better.
      Considering that there are a multitude of lecturing pay scales, can you identify which lecturers are overpaid, or that all are overpaid?

      Further, an assistant lecturer starting of at the first point on the scale comes in at something around 35K. Is this too high?, because if it isn’t then please return to your argument about overpaid lecturers and refine it further?

      • copernicus Says:

        I leave you in peace for you Irish to fight this out. In general, if the pay for the front line teaching staff is reduced, which is possible one way by redrawing their contracts as various fractions (reducing the FT base line is near imposssible to achieve, then students will not get the required contact hours. Visiting lectureship is an increasing trend in many English new universities.

        • Al Says:

          Run to the kitchen and make a big sandwich and come back to the computer to watch this one!

          It is a debate that should be had though.

      • Robert Browne Says:

        I will get back to argue my point when I have some time on my hands but the rot, see link below, is indicative of the culture of ignoring what is going on.

        http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/university-staff-paid-millions-in-unsanctioned-bonuses-131179.html

        • Robert Browne Says:

          IRISH university professors are paid almost double the salaries earned by their counterparts in Britain.

          Other academics here are also far ahead in the pay stakes, with their massive salaries outstripping even those paid at Oxford and Cambridge.

          University top earners are enjoying massive pay packages in spite of the relatively low positioning of Irish universities in international league tables….

          Irish university presidents’ salaries were outshone by 29 high-fliers who are in receipt of exceptional remuneration deals, sanctioned by the Higher Education Authority, to attract them into key positions.

          The Irish Independent recently revealed the top earner last year was UCD vice-president for research, Professor Des Fitzgerald, whose package is potentially worth up to €495,000-a-year.

          However, this was restricted to €409,000 because a performance bonus was withheld on cost-saving grounds.

          In 2007/08:

          * University professors in Ireland were paid an average of about €136,000 compared with a UK average of €75,459 — and €88,593 in Cambridge and €81,514 in Oxford.
          * Senior lecturers in Ireland had an average salary of €82,668 compared with a UK average of €50,024.
          * Lecturers in Ireland had an average salary of €67,502, while the UK average was €41,153….

  2. Perry Share Says:

    Big own goal by USI, though not surprising given the nature of ‘student politics’ in Ireland these days. In the UK students have given the NUS the flick, and have realised that they can organise themselves without the hacks. Will the same thing happen to USI?

    • copernicus Says:

      By so doing, the students turned to violence and lost the public support. I was talking one LibDem MP who voted against the fee rise, he said the students shot themselves in the foot by their violence and vandalism (it is not hard core anarchists only, many arrested students were college/university students), otherwise, the votes would have been much closer or even the government would have been defeated. In the process, tens of students collected criminal recors, not good for their careers.

  3. Al Says:

    @ Robert Browne

    Your original post referred to Lecturers and Staff.
    Your subsequent postings referred to Presidents, Professors, Senior Lecturers and Lecturers.
    Your subsequent posting also didnt answer the question that I asked you.
    Will you answer it?

  4. Al Says:

    Further info:

    Assistant Lecturer
    1/1/10
    1 € 39,715
    2 € 41,320
    3 €42,960
    4 €44,256
    5 €45,568
    6 €46,878
    7 €48,190
    8 €49,487

    Lecturer Scale 1
    1 €47,620
    2 €49,932
    3 €51,824
    4 €53,741
    5 €56,144
    6 €63,363
    7 €65,467
    8 €67,516
    9 €69,563
    10 €71,613
    11 €73,669

    Senior Lecturer I
    1 €74,006
    2 €76,441
    3 €78,866
    4 €81,307
    5 € 83,734
    6 € 86,160
    7 € 88,598
    8 € 91,021

  5. Kevin Lalor Says:

    The ‘Assistant/Junior/Below the Bar Lecturer’ grade has not been abolished. In fact, it is universal in Irish IHEs.

    A comparison of academic salary scales in the IoTs and universities can be found at: http://arrow.dit.ie/aaschsslarts/32/

    There is considerable (and inexplicable) variation.


    • Kevin, the grades of ‘Assistant Lecturer’ and ‘Below the Bar’ are not the same. For example, DCU had both as separate grades, but abolished the AL grade around 2002 (if I recall).

      • Vincent Says:

        Are not the grades pretty meaningless unless there is some notion of how many are on each step.
        €90,000 at level 8 senior lecturer is meaningless if there is only one fellow getting it.
        Further how many are on divisions of a salary as in 2/3 or 1/2 pay. This is one of the ways that the HSC and the Nurses push things out a good bit.


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