The onward march – for now – of the ’employment control framework’

In Ireland the Higher Education Authority has now formally published the new version of the ’employment control framework’ on its website, and has also issued a set of explanations and statements which produce a very benign interpretation of the terms of the ECF. For example, the statement suggests that promotions are not prohibited by the ECF provided the distribution of junior and senior posts does not change from a December 2010 baseline. The latter statement is welcome, though it would have to be said that it directly contradicts a clear statement in the ECF itself – that there can be no promotions. The reference to the distribution of grades in the ECF applies not to promotions but to the filling of vacancies (see pages 6-7 of the ECF).

The HEA also says in the statement that authorisation will not be required for any appointments; again this is clearly contradicted in the ECF itself (see e.g. first paragraph of section 8 of the ECF).

It is no doubt welcome that the HEA (which cannot in any case be blamed for the ECF) is proposing to apply a reasonable interpretation of the framework. But in the end that will be subject to government instructions and pressures. It seems to me that the position has not changed: the ECF must be revoked.

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7 Comments on “The onward march – for now – of the ’employment control framework’”

  1. Liam Delaney Says:

    One would need a PhD in theology to understand the distinctions being made in the clarifications document. It seems to be trying to say that it is the document itself that is doing the damage not the HEA. Its still a big mess. I agree that the aim of the game here should not be to try to humiliate the HEA who may be trying to do their best in impossible circumstances but this is dreadful stuff and needs to be reversed with a clear statement of leadership that addresses the pension liability issue and puts out the clear message that Ireland is still open as a research destination and that the universities are still seen as credible autonomous institutions. I have never seen something so quickly kill motivation among the colleagues I know who are really up for doing things. Its turned me into a quasi civic-campaigner, a position I do not enjoy to any degree.


  2. […] “In Ireland the Higher Education Authority has now formally published the new version of the ‘employment control framework’ on its website, and has also issued a set of explanations and statements which produce a very benign interpretation of the terms of the ECF …” (more) […]

  3. Dan Says:

    The Gardaí announced today that although the law states that it is illegal to drive a car while using your mobile phone, what the law actually means is that you can phone home to say you’ll be late for dinner, for example, but you must not make a dental appointment. Further statements disagreeing with govt policy documents will be released by the govt later today”

  4. cormac Says:

    I mentioned the restrictions on recruitment in the ECF document to colleagues in Harvard yesterday – there was widespread disbelief that any govt could be so shortsighted

  5. Jilly Says:

    If promotions are NOT prevented by the ECF, and do not require specific authorisation, can anyone explain why a few short weeks ago TCD was being threatened with massive fines for having promoted some staff?


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