"The results of a recent staff survey shows massive support for ringfenced funding to secure Mayo GMIT, and we call again on an Taoiseach and, indeed, Minister of State for Regional Economic Development, Michael Ring, to secure the funding immediately," said Harry Barrett from the Mayo GMIT Action Group this week.
The group met with 40 staff from the Castlebar campus on Wednesday evening, and following a survey of the staff 92 per cent of those present at the meeting backed the group's call for ringfenced funding to be made available to the Castlebar campus and for full autonomy in decision making for the campus.
Mr Barrett added: "Also, having met with up to 40 staff at a meeting in Castlebar, the overwhelming view was that both the Taoiseach and Minister must step in to stop the forced redeployment of staff to Galway, with no consultation, communication, or advice. We were told that up to 15 staff, primarily in the construction and tourism courses, are being forcibly redeployed, with all of the stress that entails. This also will affect students, with some having now to finish their courses in Galway. Furthermore these cuts could also lead to loss of courses in the college."
He continued: "Staff made it clear to us that not enough is being done to bring the uncertainty to an end. They cited the example of ringfenced funding made available to the Killibegs campus, allowing it to secure its future. They pointed to the fact that it was political intervention that saved Killibegs, and now they simply ask that An Taoiseach, and Minister of State Michael Ring, step in to secure the funding in the same way. Many staff made the point that the Rural Action Plan would be meaningless in Mayo if funding wasn't allocated to Mayo GMIT."
The former Castlebar town councillor concluded: "Mayo GMIT has a fantastic future, but needs political will and government funding to secure it. If it could be done for Killibegs, it can be done for Castlebar. Further delay will only maintain the uncertainty that exists, and we call again on our two most senior politicians to deliver."