Friday, March 25, 2011

Employment Control Framework: the last word

It's been an interesting few weeks in Irish universities. Perhaps for the first time, everybody in the sector seems to be singing from the same hymn-sheet: the Employment Control Framework II is madness. That is certainly my opinion.
But on mature reflection (timpani roll...) is it so important? Well it depends on who - or where- you are? If you have a lab with 7 post-docs, 15 PhD students and a bunch of bottle washers it must be a bind. But for many people its probably pretty irrelevant. Most of the latter are in the humanities/arts/social sciences. Definitely not people involved in the SSTI/Smart economy global research strategy agenda framework.
At times like this, when a cool-headed, objective stance is necessary, one inevitably looks to one's own parish instead. In my own unit (School of Economics, UCD) I doubt if the ECF has much operational significance over all. So ultimately, that would be an empirical matter, as Father Jack might say and I don't see many of my colleagues keeling over in apoplexy. Well, no more than usual. Numbers aside, it might be argued that the ECF is bad because of the absurd micro-management that it represents. This is indeed worrying. Unless you are a manager, of course.
So cheer up folks, there are lots of worse things could happen to the universities and indeed these are happening anyway. To list these seems a bit of a whinge especially given the privations that people are experiencing.

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