SIPTU representatives have confirmed that members working in the Education Sector will be supporting the #FundTheFuture protest tomorrow (Thursday, 21st March), in higher education campuses across the country. SIPTU Education Sector Organiser, Karl Byrne said: “SIPTU is encouraging members, where possible, to join the protest with other staff and students to call on the Government to ensure education remains publicly funded, free to access and a sector with decent employment standards. “It is unacceptable that the Cassells Report, published in March 2016, has been ignored and its recommendations remain unimplemented by government. During the years of austerity the sector faced some of the harshest cuts in state investment, yet student numbers have surged on the back of a demographic bulge.” He added: “During this time, our members working in the sector have struggled to maintain standards with less resources and have been repaid with an increase in the use of non-standard, precarious employment contracts. On the other hand, students face the prospect of paying some of the highest fees in Europe with a student grant, which in no way covers the cost of living for struggling and disadvantaged students.” SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, Adrian Kane said: “It is for these reasons SIPTU, as part of the Coalition for Publicly Funded Higher Education, stands shoulder to shoulder with the students of Ireland and calls on the Government to #FundTheFuture. Our members believe that to do otherwise would put Ireland’s future as a researching, skills generating nation at stake.” The #FundTheFuture protest is organised by the Coalition for Publicly Funded Higher Education which includes SIPTU, Fórsa, IFUT, USI and ISSU.