The following is a summary of the latest Irish Research Staff Association (IRSA) meeting in Dublin. Mike Jennings from IFUT (Irish Federation Union of Teachers) attended and two initiatives were discussed:
- Cooperation between IRSA and IFUT
- European Higher Education Trade Unions (ETUCE) looking after researcher affairs in Europe.
Cooperation between IRSA and IFUT
IFUT would like to cooperate with IRSA in assisting in promoting research term and conditions for researchers in Ireland. There is much overlap in this area, and IFUT could be much better placed to be influential in this area. IFUT have already set up a UCC-IFUT research section. They would like this copied in all universities. They would like the researcher section representative to sit on the ARCS committee and vice versa. IRSA will be drafting a proposed memorandum of understanding to be discussed in the next few weeks.
We encourage all ARCS members to join IFUT. IFUT have a reduced rate of €17 /month for researchers.
European Higher Education Trade Unions (ETUCE) is part of Higher Education and Research Standing Committee (HERSC) of Education International in Europe. ETUCE contacted Mike Jennings in IFUT with regards the EURSA concept.
ETUCE are very interested in the concept of a European Research Staff Association (EURSA) and they think that there is much overlap with EURSA and the objectives of their association. At present they have not much researcher members or agenda, but they would like to expand. ETUCE is well connected in Europe, engages with all EU commission councils and is well funded. ETUCE has requested that a meeting should be held perhaps in Paris, attended by all interested RSA and ETUCE to discuss common ground and cooperation.