SIPTU representatives have today (Wednesday, 17th July) said that any proposed legislation to introduce greater regulation and reform to the governance of higher education cannot be used to divert attention away from the growing funding crisis facing the sector. SIPTU Education Sector Organiser, Karl Byrne, said: “Three years after the publication of the Cassells Report into the funding of higher education we are still in the midst of political procrastination. This is despite all stakeholders in education acknowledging the crisis and need for an immediate and substantial increase in government funding.” He added: “SIPTU representatives are demanding that any improvements in funding and governance must also deal with the scourge of precarious employment practices and the over-reliance on outsourcing. If this is not addressed, we will be left with a system that is ill-fitted to serve both students and workers and is ill-equipped to meet the demand of growing student numbers.” SIPTU is a member of the Coalition for Publicly Funded Higher Education which includes Fórsa, IFUT, USI and ISSU.