University of Limerick restructure faces opposition

PLANS for major academic restructuring in the University of Limerick (UL) have been met with significant opposition from staff.

A letter signed by 50 professors from the college outlining their concerns was sent to members of the Governing Authority and Chancellor Mary Harney a day after a public meeting organised by UL-UNITE which was attended by 450 people.

Speaking to Limerick Voice one of the professors who signed the letter outlined their concerns about the proposals that have been made.

“Hopefully we can all take a step back from the very abrupt timetable for reorganisation and work out collectively what is the best way forward for all employees and students of the university,” they said.

“UL should aim to be an example of shared governance by making decisions about matters such as reorganisation, decisions that are fundamental to what we do, through consultation and dialogue.”

Some of the major issues outlined in the letter were “the brevity and inadequacy of the consultation process, the lack of documentation arguing for its necessity, and the absence of any concrete rationale for change make it very difficult to persuade people of the necessity of reorganisation.

“Surely if reorganisation is to happen it would be best if it were something that faculty and staff worked with, not against, if it were something that faculty and staff felt they had a stake in rather than something to be eyed with suspicion?” the letter stated.

Earlier last month UL UNITE instructed members not to participate in any meetings or engagement relating to UL@50 Driving Our Strategic Plan and the Work Allocation Model (WAM) Pilot Study.

A letter seeking a formal ballot across all UL-UNITE staff grades on industrial action up to and including strike action, was also sent to the trade union’s headquarters.

According to UL-UNITE the move was sparked by months of protracted delay and inadequate levels of trade union consultation on a number of important issues affecting all grades of staff.

A spokesperson for UL said there would be no comment however it’s understood that meetings are ongoing between management and UL UNITE.

Limerick Voice 2019 newspaper is available today in all copies of the Limerick Leader.

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