For six years the students of Trinity College had to deal with a reduced library service caused by a SIPTU dispute. Issue five of volume five of the Record announced the end of the long-running pay-related dispute. In the seven years since the dispute ended, students have still found problems with the library, as you can read on page one of this issue.
‘As long as everyone is happy, no one has lost anything’. The Education Officer, Dave Memery, sums up the general feeling of Trinity College and members of the SIPTU Union now that the library dispute is finally at an end after six years. As Bill Simpson, the Head Librarian at the college explains, ‘SIPTU’s vote in favour of the deal was not unanimous, but they are reasonable happy.’ Tony Carey, a member of said union who works on-campus, comments ‘As far as we’re concerned, the issues we considered to be contentious have now been solved and everyone is happy.’ On Thursday, 17th January Mr Simpson received official written confirmation from SIPTU that they have accepted the terms of the agreement.
In November of last year The Record reported on another failed attempt to put paid to the disagreement, and at that point it looked set to continue indefinitely. Dr Kieran ‘Jack’ McGinley, the SIPTU Library Section Committee secretary, comments, ‘Somebody had to be hurt before people would listen. This was a very slow-burning fuse. When other workers groups take strike action they can stop the trains, or stop the buses in order to make their point – we weren’t in a position to do that.’ Tony Carey also says of his union, ‘We are not a faceless organisation. These are just ordinary people who felt aggrieved.’
Although Mr Simpson was hesitant to put forward his own feelings on what has been an extremely drawn-out process, he does say, ‘My personal view is one of total regret. I’ve been amazed at how long it has taken. Of course I deeply regret all the inconvenience that library users have been caused in that time.’
We are assured by the Head Librarian that, ‘In the next couple of weeks full service will be completely resumed.’ Books that were previously unavailable to students are now available, although Tony Carey points out to library users that the computer system is not yet fully adapted to the changes, during the next couple of weeks student should inquire at the counters as to the true status of books which are marked as ‘Unavailable’ on the system. Bill Simpson adds, ‘As the agreement is now in place we are able to implement the technology to provide improved services in the library.’ He also states that SIPTU are co operating with regard to the move into the new Ussher Library, due to be in full use by the summer of this year.
January 22nd 2002