Archive for 5 October 2009

Workers in the public sector need reality check on salaries

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 5 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“What do former FAS chief Rody Molloy and Ceann Comhairle John O’Donoghue have in common? Obviously they are both public servants with a penchant for the high life. And they have, inadvertently, become poster boys for the public service. As if evidence of their lavish lifestyles isn’t already a headache for the Government, it is particularly the case as the issue of public sector pay looms large …” (more)

[Ailish O’Hora, Independent, 5 October]

I’m Sorry I Published

Posted in research with tags , on 5 October 2009 by Steve

USA“Given that it seems to be common wisdom that publications are helpful, two anecdotes I heard in the past week or so scare me a little bit. Both anecdotes are about departments that were searching or are planning a search. Both departments see their department as mainly a teaching department, but they do have research requirements (I think 3/3 or 3/2 loads). Also, according to both anecdotes, these departments consider publications in top journals as counting against a candidate! …” (more)

[John Basl, Inside Higher Ed, 5 October]

Lecturers to take legal action against early retirement ban

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , , on 5 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“University lecturers are taking legal action against a cost-saving ban on early retirement deals involving lump sums of about €200,000 for senior academics. The Government-imposed ban is hitting plans by up to 30 staff, academics and others at NUI Maynooth to leave their posts early over the next year. But the lecturers’ union, the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT), claims the ban breaches agreements reached with individual staff members …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 5 October]

DCU head rejects Trinity link

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , , on 5 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“DCU’s president has rejected claims that he is being lined up to succeed his Trinity College counterpart when his ten-year term comes to an end next summer. Both The Irish Times and The University Times – Trinity’s SU publication – have suggested that Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski is a potential successor of the head of Trinity, provost John Hegarty. The University Times last week described von Prondzynski as a ‘somewhat controversial candidate’ having been ’embroiled in staffing and dismissal issues in DCU’ …” (more)

[The College View, 4 October]

Lowering of public service pay to be proposed in report

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 5 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“… Mr Carey would give no indication as to the level of reduction the body will recommend. But he said that it should provide a template for pay negotiations across the public service. ‘I think if that is the case we should seriously look at a proportionate reduction in wages right across the broader public sector, and I include this organisation and universities and others’, he said …” (more)

[Harry McGee, Irish Times, 5 October]

Public sector workers brace for triple threat

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 5 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The budget might be at least two months away, but the battle lines have already been drawn. On one side is the government, strapped for cash and intent on reining in the public sector pay and pensions bill. Facing the government are the public sector unions, which have staunchly resisted any attempts to erode the pay or working conditions of their 300,000 members. The government has effectively laid out its stall …” (more)

[Ian Kehoe, Sunday Business Post, 4 October]

Public vs private: the facts

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 5 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“As the debate about pay in the public versus private sector becomes ever more intense, figures are being thrown back and forward. To say this can be confusing is an understatement. Public sector unions, in particular, have been quick out of the blocks to try to rubbish recent data from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and the Central Statistics Office (CSO). So what are the facts? There is such heated debate on the subject for one simple reason – it can be difficult to find exact comparisons for many public and private sector jobs …” (more)

[Cliff Taylor, Sunday Business Post, 4 October]

School lab health and safety rules ‘could stop future scientists’

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 5 October 2009 by Steve

UK“It is a scientific fact, tested and proven by generations of pupils, that experiments in school laboratories win young people to the cause of science. White coats, goggles and the chance to set fire to things foster a passion for chemistry that even years of examinations do not extinguish. But government advisers and eminent scientists are warning of a disturbing development that could endanger generations of future scientists: pupils are no longer allowed to experiment …” (more)

[Joanna Sugden, Times, 5 October]

Tories vow to create 10,000 more university places

Posted in teaching with tags on 5 October 2009 by Steve

UK“The Tories yesterday promised to create thousands more university places next year, funded by incentivising graduates to repay their student loans early. In a bid to avoid a repeat of this summer’s crisis in university admissions, David Willetts said a Conservative administration would move quickly to accommodate soaring demand …” (more)

[Daniel Bentley, Independent, 4 October]