Staff at Cork Institute of Technology yesterday continued their opposition to management’s plan to hire a student counsellor by protesting at the job interviews for the post.

The staff, members of the Teachers Union of Ireland, object to the proposed appointment because they say the qualifications sought in the advert for the position do not meet standards set by a nationwide agreement.

They have further concerns that the duties advertised go outside those defined by this agreement, and they say CIT has ignored standard procedures by pressing ahead with the appointment process despite the union’s opposition.

Their stance has found support from the association which represents counsellors in higher education institutions. The Irish Association of University & College Counsellors has written to CIT to raise its objections and outline its “grave concerns” about the advertised post.

Speaking at the protest outside the CIT School of Music on Union Quay yesterday, TUI branch chairman, Paul Rothwell, said the staff were protesting out of principle.

“CIT has elected to press ahead with interviews today on the post. We’re here to highlight the fact that they’re further breaching their own nationally-agreed grievance procedures,” he said. Mr Rothwell added a meeting has been arranged between management and the TUI members for Tuesday. He said the duties of the post are ‘contentious’ and so the hiring of a staff member in these conditions is still problematic, even if the successful candidate were to have the qualifications required to meet the national agreement.


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