Fianna Fáil Education spokesperson Charlie McConalogue TD has called on Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan to allow universities, institutes of technology and other colleges greater freedom to hire staff, within their allocated budgets in 2015.
Staff levels at higher level institutions have fallen by over 10% since 2008, resulting in serious shortages in some colleges.
Deputy McConalogue commented, “The Minister should relax the rules on colleges hiring much needed academic staff. Where they can do so within their budgets and in line with agreed salary levels, colleges should be permitted to fill posts without having to obtain approval from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
“The current Employment Control Framework seriously limits the capacity of third level institutions to hire new staff when existing staff leave or retire. When critical posts needed to be filled, the institution has to make a case to DPER. This further delays the recruitment process and places additional pressure on individual departments and colleges.
“The colleges are autonomous institutions. They should be given more power to decide on their own staffing levels once they operate within agreed budgets”.