Universities call for end to government-imposed controls

Universities are calling for government-imposed controls on staff and salaries to be lifted on foot of research indicating that the sector in Ireland faces some of the greatest restrictions anywhere in Europe, writes Carl O’Brien for The Irish Times.

A European University Association report states that Irish universities face greater controls and a lack of flexibility when it comes to staff recruitment, salary determination and promotions, with the country ranking 24th out of 35 European higher education systems.

The restrictions stem from an employment control framework imposed in 2010 by the then-government as an austerity-era spending measure aimed at reducing the public sector pay bill. It places a cap on overall staffing numbers and prohibits permanent contracts for non-core workers in universities. Critics say the measure has led to a rise in more precarious and short-term contracts and an increase in student-staff ratios, which are about 20:1 in Ireland compared to a European norm of 15:1.
Full report on The Irish Times site