Fórsa representatives met officials from the Department of Education and Skills at the end of April to start talks on job evaluation in the higher education sector.
The union’s assistant general secretary Stella Griffin said the meeting was constructive, though she expects further engagement will be necessary to achieve a positive outcome.
“Our next meeting takes place on 31st May, and we will be looking to push ahead on the issue. The initial engagement was very constructive, and we remain focused on winning a job evaluation process for the sector.
“We’ve made it clear that we’re prepared to engage in industrial action if we don’t secure the commitment we got coming out of the Lansdowne Road discussions in 2015,” she said.
When the Lansdowne Road agreement was being negotiated, discussions took place between unions representing education workers and the Department of Education and Skills, under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission.
A commitment to authorise job evaluation exercises for library, clerical, administrative and support grades in the higher education sector was agreed during that process.
Writing for this bulletin in February, Fórsa’s deputy general secretary Kevin Callinan said it was time for the department to address the critical delay in activating a job evaluation scheme in higher education.
“Further delay will hit staff morale, increase the pressure on service delivery to a critical point, and escalate the risk of industrial action – something that is now under active consideration by our Institutes of Technology branch,” he said.