Universities fight Quinn's plan to take control of pay

Irish universities are fighting plans to change the law to give the government absolute control over pay, conditions and staff numbers. University leaders have met Education Minister Ruairi Quinn to express reservations about proposed new legislation, writes Katherine Donnelly for the Irish Independent.

It follows a cabinet decision to amend the Universities Act and give ministerial powers to require institutions to comply with government guidelines on pay, allowances, pensions and staffing numbers. While other areas of the public service are subject to such controls, when it comes to universities, ministers have had to rely on persuasion.

But the college heads warned the minister that the move would tie their hands too much and be a further deterrent to attracting top academic talent and investment into Ireland. Senior academics are among the best paid in the public service and there is annoyance in government circles that they have resisted calls to reduce salaries voluntarily to the new pay cap of €200,000 (US$259,000) or below.
Full report on the Irish Independent site