November 23, 2023
Precarious employment in higher education needs to end – Mairéad Farrell TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Further and Higher Education, Mairéad Farrell TD, has welcomed the publication of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) report on precarious employment in higher education.

She said the report shines a light on the frightening lack of job security faced by many researchers and academics.

Teachta Farrell said:

“I want to commend IFUT for having carried out such a detailed report. We know from the Oireachtas Education Committee and the testimony of many working in the sector how precarious things are.

“However, we didn’t have access to the kind of shocking and detailed data that IFUT have produced with this report.

“Last week, we had science week where the Minister paid tribute to those who carry out research in our universities and telling us how research and development will be at the forefront of the sector in the coming years.

“And yet here we have a situation where almost 40% of respondents identified as precariously employed.

“Of this group, 55% identified as having already worked two or more successive fixed term contracts.

“These individuals report significant hardships, from impacts on their relationships and mental health, to simple life choices like starting a family or getting a mortgage.

“This is now driving people out of academia.

“The sector has sleepwalked into a crisis and only now is beginning to wake up to the fact.

“I hope this report gets the coverage it warrants and spurs Minister Harris into action.”

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