Building Momentum

There may be no longer be any momentum in the direction of building a new Student Centre at Maynooth, but over the last few days I’ve been studying the details of the review of the “Building Momentum” pay proposal for public services employees over the next couple of years. The proposal has been put to a ballot of members of various public sector unions, including the one to which I belong, the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT).

Unlike what happens in the United Kingdom, there is a single agreement covering all public sector workers and the unions that represent them and, also unlike the United Kingdom, University staff are treated as public sector employees, rather like civil servants. We are all members of the same pension scheme too, also unlike the UK.

Back in August, there was talk of industrial action over the inadequacy of the Government’s existing offer given the recent increases in the cost of living, but the ballot on that was suspended to allow voting on the revised offer that emerged from a review, perhaps in response to union pressure. As IFUT explained,

Arising from this review a set of proposals were agreed in August which include additional pay increases for members in 2022 and increases in 2023.  When the additional increases are taken into account, members’ pay would increase by a minimum of 9.5% during the period covered by Building Momentum (2021 – 2023).

Although expressing reservations, which I share, IFUT states

After careful consideration and scrutiny of the proposal, and taking into account the views of the membership as expressed by our Council, the Executive Committee advises that IFUT members should vote to accept these proposals.

I would have preferred if a bit more could have been done for University teachers at the lower end of the pay scales but, on balance, together with the cost-of-living measures announced in Tuesday’s budget, I think it’s a reasonable compromise, which will bring some degree of certainty to the financial situation of many people. I have therefore voted to accept the offer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: