Universities spend millions on staff disputes

Universities have spent an average of nearly €2.7 million (US$3.7 million) a year on external legal fees since 2006 with up to two thirds going towards resolving staff disputes, writes Niall Murray for the Irish Examiner.

The highest spend on external legal fees was by University College Cork, where almost €2.9 million of the total €4.6 million legal bill in the seven years to 2012 was allocated to human resources cases. The legal bill for the seven universities totals nearly €18.75 million in the period covered and includes €5.6 million – or almost one third – spent on cases relating to staffing matters across the sector.

The figures emerge as higher education bosses continue to pressure for improved funding amid threats of further cuts in next month’s budget. Higher Education Authority figures last year showed that colleges were catering for 15% more students than four years earlier, but some have 10% fewer academic staff.
Full report on the Irish Examiner site