STRIKE ACTION BY CAMPUS TRADE UNIONISTS, 24 NOVEMBER 2009
All of the trade unions representing staff working on the Maynooth campus are taking part in a one-day strike on Tuesday November 24th. The strike is protesting against the threat of further government-imposed cuts in the pay of university employees. Action is being taken following ballots in which the majority of members of the unions that are taking part voted in favour of coming out on strike.
Pickets will be placed at the entrances to the North and South campuses throughout the day on Tuesday. Students are asked not to pass these pickets and not to enter the campus while the strike is in progress. (A distinction is, of course, recognised here between students residing on campus and those who would normally be coming in to attend lectures etc. There is no intention to interfere with anyone’s access to their home. The aim is to bring the ordinary working parts of the university – its lecture theatres, labs, library etc. – to a halt for the period of the strike).
Hopefully you will have been informed of the cancellation of your classes by your lecturers in advance of Tuesday. If you are in any doubt, please contact the lecturer concerned to confirm that cancellation. With official pickets in place, the only people who will be conducting or attending classes will be those who have deliberately chosen to break the strike. Given the wide range of Maynooth employees stopping work on the day, it is quite likely that the campus will close down completely. University management intend to try and keep it open but health and safety considerations may lead them to reconsider this position once the strike is in progress. If you do not wish to actively express support for the strike, your wisest course of action may be to stay away from Maynooth on November 24th. Public transport services are likely to be disrupted on that day because workers right across the public sector are going to be involved in the strike.
It must be emphasised that trade union members on the campus are seeking and will warmly welcome student support for their action. Pay cuts are part of a wider package of measures that will progressively reduce the resourcing and the quality of the education provided to students in our schools and universities. The return to charging students tuition fees forms part of the same political agenda. Students and staff have a common interest in the protection of our education system against the kind of destructive changes with which it is currently threatened.