Teaching Unions Respond to USI Call for Support for Day of Action on 8th October

We are delighted to support your call for a Rally for Education on the 8th of October and will be seeking the support of our branches and members in the higher education sector for such a mobilisation. It will, as you say, show ‘staff and students standing on the same side’ and will show the government and the general public that all of the people studying or working in our colleges, institutes and universities believe education is a public good and not a commodity.

We believe that higher education is a public or social good and not a service industry.  We believe it should be open to all and not the preserve of a wealthy elite.  We believe it should be properly resourced by the state as a vital social good in terms of development and social equity.  There are strategic choices now in front of us that need to be faced.  To date the debate has been quite one-sided with those who do not accept the ‘magic of the market’ being marginalised.  We are the majority of those actually studying and working in Ireland’s higher education institutions and we will be heard.  We do not have all the answers and would like to see a proper debate across society and the political order.  We stand for a real commitment to access regardless of economic means.  We call for a halt on the attacks on working conditions.  We believe in higher education both as a generator of knowledge and as a means to reduce social inequality.

We are happy to support this USI initiative. We also suggest that we should have more regular channels of communication at national and branch level. Students and staff have a common interest in greater access and equity in education, an end to cuts and casualization and an education system geared towards national social and economic development.

 

            Annette Dolan                               Mike Jennings                             Louise O’Reilly

Deputy General Secretary           General Secretary         Education Sector National Organiser

                   TUI                                                    IFUT                                           SIPTU

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