Hundreds of academic and research staff at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) are using the post to communicate with management as part of a major escalation of their industrial action against the controversial proposed merger of CIT and IT Tralee.
TUI members at CIT triggered the latest work-to-rule action on Monday in the second phase of their three-phase industrial action which began last year. TUI branch officer, Gillian Quinlan, said it will cause major disruption to the day-to-day running of the college. The branch’s 608 members, spread across CIT’s constituent colleges, are now restricted to using email only between 9am and 5pm, reverting to hard-copy “snail mail” outside of those hours. A raft of other work-to-rule measures could also result in disruption to the examination preparation process which begins in February, the TUI warned.
“The industrial action is open-ended until such time as meaningful consultation takes place. But so far, there is no sign of that taking place,” Ms Quinlan said.
She said the merger is being proposed against the backdrop of “horrendous cuts”, including a 35% reduction in CIT’s core budget between 2005 and 2008, a 31% increase in student numbers, and a 10% reduction in academic staffing levels. She said the industrial relations mess is set to continue after members unanimously agreed to request sanction from the TUI executive for the third phase of action — strike action.
The TUI is also conducting a national ballot of its members in all ITs to establish their views on mergers, with a result due next week. The TUI said the merger is a general election issue, with TUI branch members in IT Tralee meeting politicians in Kerry next Monday, and Cork TUI members planning a similar meeting.
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