NUI Galway urged to attend talks

The Labour Relations Commission is again asking NUI Galway to come to talks with staff of a college due to come under its control, following Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan’s intervention in the dispute.

NUI Galway urged to attend talks

At the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) congress on Wednesday, Ms O’Sullivan said unions should be consulted in any such move and expressed a wish that progress could be made through the LRC.

The union represents staff at St Angela’s College in Sligo who have scheduled a second one-day strike next Thursday as they continue to seek to negotiate with NUIG about their planned incorporation into the university.

NUIG has said TUI is not a union it recognises for negotiations, and previously told the LRC it could not accept its invitation to talks.

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The TUI said it had confirmed yesterday that the LRC is communicating again with NUIG on the issue.

“We hope that, following the minister’s intervention, NUI Galway would agree to come to the LRC conciliation conference next week so, instead of having a strike next Thursday, they would be around the table talking to us,” said TUI deputy general secretary Annette Dolan.

NUIG told the Irish Examiner yesterday it has advised the LRC, the Department of Education, and staff at St Angela’s that it will engage directly in the coming weeks with the TUI on employment matters relating to the transfer of staff.

“Should it prove necessary following the commencement of discussions with the TUI, the university will be very glad to avail of the assistance of the LRC in moving matters forward,” a spokesperson said.

Members at the 1,000-student college have concerns about being changed from lecturers to a university teacher grade, but also about retaining terms and conditions under any change of employer. TUI delegates offered their full solidarity and a standing ovation to some of the 57 lecturers.

St Angela’s branch chairman, Brian O’Boyle, later offered his own solidarity to workers at Dunnes Stores who took strike action last week in seek of union recognition and decent contracts.

Although the TUI executive said union rules meant there was a technical issue with making a payment that has not been sought, delegates passed an emergency motion to donate at least €5,000 to Mandate to support its action at the supermarket chain.

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