Strike action at DkIT which was scheduled to take place yesterday was lifted following constructive talks between the TUI and the board of management of the college.
Last week the TUI announced that its members in DkIT would take a day’s strike on Tuesday November 19 over a range of concerns including what they saw as the college’s lack of interest in pursuing technological university status.
However, following a meeting on Friday both sides released statements confirming that agreements had been made in writing to ease these concerns which resulted in the strike action being called off. The TUI statement noted that they had received written commitment from DkIT that they would immediately engage in the Technological University process.
“This morning, written commitments were made by DkIT management regarding the TUI’s concerns, including a written commitment to achieving Technological University status and an immediate engagement in the Technological University process. The Institute will also immediately commence engagement with existing TUs and TU consortia with a process of consortium/TU identification to conclude by April 2020.
“DkIT Management also agreed to the withdrawal of a planned proposal to create a fifth school, which if implemented, would have breached a range of nationally agreements. In addition, a consultation mechanism to facilitate meaningful consultation was also agreed.
“Written commitments were also made regarding TUI’s concerns over the functioning of management bodies.
“In the view of the Branch Committee and the TUI Executive Committee, these commitments were sufficient for the TUI to lift the strike action planned for Tuesday November 19. Members are hopeful that the commitments made by management will be adhered to and successfully concluded.
“This is a significant step in protecting the future of Higher Education provision in the region, and securing the economic, cultural and social benefits that University status will generate for the North East,” concluded the statement.
Meanwhile a statement from DkIT confirmed that an agreement had been reached with the TUI saying ‘consensus had been achieved through open and meaningful dialogue with TUI members’.
“We are pleased to have reached a fair and considered agreement with the TUI which has resulted in the lifting of the proposed industrial action on Tuesday November 19. Consensus around such issues was achieved through open and meaningful dialogue with TUI members and all actions were mutually agreed in the best interest of the institute.
As per the agreement:
The institute will commence engagement with existing Technological Universities (TUs) and TU consortia with a process of consortium/TU identification to conclude by April 2020.
The institute agreed to the withdraw the proposal to create a fifth academic school and will instead explore alternative methods of advancing our provision in the area of flexible part-time and postgraduate learning opportunities.
The institute agreed to facilitate meaningful consultation around the operation of internal consultative bodies between management and staff.
“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and praise the important role of our colleagues in helping to deliver our overarching strategic mission of providing high quality, learner-centred higher education to support the economic, social and cultural development of the region and beyond. We are confident that the agreed actions will help to ensure the continuation of constructive and open engagement with colleagues around decision-making within the institute. In particular, we welcome their valuable contribution to the ongoing DkIT’s Strategic Planning Process within the institute which will culminate in the publication of the DkIT Strategic Plan 2020-22 early next year,” read the statement.