Students of Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) have not yet received their examination results amidst conflict between staff and upper management of the college. The Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) branch at Dundalk IT is representing lecturers in talks with the college’s president, Dr Michael Mulvey.
The action was taken as a result of consistent failings from senior management to honour commitments signed into an agreement in November of 2019. Such commitments involved re-evaluating internal management operations and engaging in action to pursue a Technological University status for the institution.
TUI stated that the industrial action is “entirely due to the intransigence of the DKIT President’s office.” However, Kenneth Sloane, lecturer of the college and Dundalk IT TUI Branch Chairperson added that “The action can also be swiftly reversed should the Dundalk IT Executive agree to return to talks at the WRC.”
The industrial action has resulted in significant disruptions to the functional and strategic operations of the college. The two main issues raised by the TUI are the president’s “refusal to permit Senior Managers to the table […] to permit the open discussion and recording of different opinions” and the fact that Dundalk IT was “effectively the only Institute of Technology not moving towards University status.”
In a statement to the Dundalk Democrat, Student Union President of Dundalk IT, President Taidgh Kavanagh, stressed the inconvenience of the ongoing tensions within the college. He added that the withholding of results was additional stress, on top of other Covid-19 challenges to students this year.
“ … we are concerned it is down to the college President and management who are refusing to sit at the table and find a solution. Students are being caught in the crossfire, and it isn’t fair.”
The institution claims that the current proceedings are not affecting students’ day-to-day learning experiences and that they remain committed to ensuring that student wellbeing remains the utmost priority during such challenging times. Dundalk IT management stated, “We are working with all parties to find prompt resolution and expect students to receive their results shortly and via the normal channels.”
Eve Moore – Reporter