The conduct of staff relations is a matter for each university in accordance with section 25 of the Universities Act, 1997. This section also gives the university the authority to suspend or dismiss any employee but only in accordance with procedures, and subject to any conditions, specified in statute made following consultation through normal industrial relations structures operating in the university with recognised staff associations or trade unions.
I understand from the Higher Education Authority that the new disciplinary procedures in DCU were drafted under statute as required by the Act. These new procedures were prepared following legal advice and essentially elaborate on existing arrangements agreed in 1985. The university consulted its union representatives as required under the Universities Act. This matter was the subject of a conciliation conference in September and it has been referred directly to the Labour Court.