SIPTU members across the Education Sector have today (Thursday, 11th March) said that, unless the crisis in third level funding is addressed, all the problems that have continuously plagued the sector will continue to persist. The calls come following an online meeting of delegates of the unions Education Sector when a motion to secure an enhanced budget for tertiary education was passed unanimously. SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, Adrian Kane: “As Ireland’s biggest union for workers in education, our members are calling on the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris to get real, stop obsessing over governance structures in universities and get on with the job of providing the essential funding. There is a huge issue over inadequate staffing levels. The minister is talking about providing an additional 4,000 student spaces but we are not hearing anything on how this will be funded. “Our members believe that if the Minister concentrated his energy and efforts on getting to grips with the substantive issues, he would recognise that unless there is a substantial increase in government funding then the sector will continue to be plagued by the scourge of precarious employment and rampant outsourcing.” SIPTU Education Sector Organiser, Karl Byrne, said: “Five years on from the publication of the Cassells Report into the funding of higher education, the Government is still tinkering around the edges of this crisis. If this is not addressed, we will be left with a broken system that cannot meet the needs of both students, workers and wider society.”