• Fair Pay for PhD Researchers
    A Aire Harris, a chara, We are writing as representatives from the PhDs’ Collective Action Union (PCAU) to express deep concern with the current PhD stipend scheme in light of the cost of living crisis and coming inflation, as well as to address the grave inequality created by proposing €28k PhD stipends without increasing the pay for existing PhD researchers. The PCAU officially formed 8 July 2022 after approximately 350 PhD researchers from across Ireland came together to address the increasing challenges facing PhD researchers in the current economy. We democratically selected our Union’s stance, and now are reaching out in accordance with the demands of those in our group. We maintain that the current PhD stipend is insufficient on several accounts. All of Ireland, especially Dublin, has a cost of living crisis driven by increasing rents and rising inflation. The costs are even higher for non-EU researchers, who have to pay for health insurance and residence permits each year. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) reported an approximate 9.1% inflation of prices1 in the last year, which means that the current (average) stipend of €18.5k has the same purchasing power as a €17k stipend pre-inflation, when current first-year PhD researchers accepted their roles. A recent survey conducted by leadership in SFI funded research groups2, shows that the financial burden impacting current researchers is having a real and consequential negative effect on researchers’ physical and mental health and ultimately their ability to perform research. researchers feel they are not valued, and some have expressed doubts as to the point of continuing when they could get much better-paid jobs in industry. On top of that, Ireland recently announced a plan for a new PhD programme with a stipend of €28k per year3. In addition to the current €18.5k stipend being below both living and minimum wage, it is now creating a vast inequality where current PhD researchers will be performing equal work for only 66% of the pay of new researchers. This is not acceptable. It is in the opinion of the PCAU that all PhD stipends must be increased to €28k in order to address inflation, the housing and cost of living crisis, and the new government valuation on PhD-level research as seen in their most recent PhD funding initiative. We understand that this requires a lot of change, planning, and work. Therefore, we would like to request a meeting between you and our Acting President to discuss how PhD stipends can be brought to a livable and equitable value. Please contact us so that we can arrange a date for a meeting. Is muidne, le meas, An PCAU agus a lucht tacaíochta The PCAU and its supporters Sources 1. https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/cpi/consumerpriceindexjune2022/ 2. Please refer to the letter addressed to Dr Maysoun Mustafa, Scientific Programme Manager at SFI, on June 2nd, 2022. 3. https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/1b902-taoiseach-and-minister-harris-announce-innovate-for-ireland-a-new-initiative-to-recruit-and-retain-talent/
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    Created by Jeffrey / Siothrún Sardina
  • Abolish conversion Practices on Neurodivergent People
    The phrase ‘conversion therapy,’ brings to mind harmful efforts to ‘cure’ gay, trans and other queer people… Now imagine similar coercion and trauma were inflicted on Neurodivergent people - Autistics, People with Down Syndrome, People with Intellectual Disabilities and others… You don’t need to imagine. (1) It’s real, it’s been going on for 60 years, and it is happening right now across Ireland in schools, in adult and child services, and in peoples’ homes. How could this be? Is this legal? Yes, it’s legal… It is the go-to ‘therapy’ for many Neurodivergent people of all ages to make us appear ‘normal,’ taught to psychologists and psychiatrists, social care workers, SNAs, and special ed. teachers. That is why we need your support. Behaviourist conversion methods hide behind a plethora of credible-sounding names - Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA), Positive Behavioural Support (PBS), Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI), Social Skills Training, PECS, ‘behavioural plans,’ and others. They are so ingrained into the practice of Irish professionals that many are oblivious to the harm. It’s just ‘what you do’ for ‘those people.’ We are ‘those people,’ and we’re telling you: this is doing us real lasting harm. Almost half (46%) of those subjected to ABA display PTSD symptoms.(2) This is why our communities oppose all such ‘therapies,’ including the so-called ‘gentle ABA.’ All variants assume we are defective humans who must be shamed and bribed to mimic ‘normal.’ All it really does is teach us to silently suffer the trauma of living a lie. The UN agrees: “Autistic persons are particularly exposed to professional approaches and medical practices which are unacceptable from a human rights point of view. Such practices … violate their basic rights, undermine their dignity, and go against scientific evidence.”(3) Behaviourist conversion methods ignore our human rights. They do us terrible harm. They don’t work. We do not consent. This has to stop. Now. And yet it continues. Ireland is even hosting an international ABA conference in September,(4) possible only because this kind of conversion ‘therapy’ remains legal here. Prioritising a diversity of Neurodivergent voices in the upcoming Autism Innovation Strategy as per UNCRPD(5) may help, but will not secure our safety in law. Therefore, we call on Minister Rabbitte to ensure Neurodivergent citizens are protected from further harm by banning all behavioural interventions in this state. To find out more about behaviourist conversion, the harm it causes, and further steps you can take to help, follow the links below Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100084052330540 Twitter: tbc Follow similar campaigns internationally: [links]: https://twitter.com/A4AOntario/status/1548669666066833408?s=20&t=lDtix0HmixgWn3sY0v72yw https://autcollab.org/aba https://twitter.com/ekverstania/status/1532818556693389312?s=20&t=2xKe2Lr09vMYcBrfw0mHHw https://www.facebook.com/BetterWaysThanABA/ https://www.facebook.com/endseclusion/ #BanABA #SayNoToABA #BetterWaysThanABA #StopTheShock ______________________________________________________ 1. Ole Ivar Løvaas: Originator of ABA & Gay Conversion methods https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2021/03/man-behind-ex-gay-conversion-therapy-started-trying-make-autistic-children-normal/ 2. Kupferstein, H. (2018), "Evidence of increased PTSD symptoms in autistics exposed to applied behavior analysis", Advances in Autism, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 19-29. https://doi.org/10.1108/AIA-08-2017-0016 or https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/AIA-08-2017-0016/full/html 3. UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2015 Special Report: https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2015/04/discrimination-against-autistic-persons-rule-rather-exception-un-rights 4. Applied Behavioral Analysis International, ABAI Conference 2022: https://www.abainternational.org/events/international/dublin-2022/conference-home.aspx 5. UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, 2006: https://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/convention/convention_accessible_pdf.pdf
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    Created by Gillian Kearns
  • Free IT courses for children in Ireland
    For many parents with a fear of gadgets, programming courses are a lifesaver. The child is already addicted to computer games and it's hard to distract them, so let them do something useful, they say. This is the most popular request when starting school. Another popular option: parents understand the prospects of IT-sphere and send their children to learn demanded skills for high-paying professions. Children in general find learning programming from scratch much easier than adults without IT experience. In third place is the desire of children who are interested in IT. Parents support this interest and buy courses. Learning to program is above all a great way to develop logical and analytical thinking. When writing code, the programmer goes to the goal, speaks the same language as the computer and will only be understood if the code is logically constructed. If two lines are mixed up, the program or game will not work. Analytical thinking, planning, and planning come into play. Design thinking works too. The courses are designed with a practical approach in mind, students can practice what they have learned in their projects without using ready-made templates. A clear sequence of actions, decomposition of tasks and tracking their implementation are important for success. If, when creating a game, a child spends all his or her time on elaborating one character, the game will not happen. You will get one character without a game world. Therefore, students develop soft skills and time-management skills at the same time.
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    Created by Markus Doronin
  • Fix up Inchicore 1937 Public Library
    The local community in Inchicore have used the public library for generations since 1937. Now the Art Deco library needs refurbishment and a wheelchair access ramp built. The architects plan has been drawn up by DCC, but the tender has not been reissued after Covid. There may be alternative plans to convert the historic building into a tourist attraction - a possible social history museum, similar to EPIC. The library keys were handed over by the librarian to the DCC Dept of Property Development and Planning in January 2022. No one in the local community has been consulted about this. The local community are worried that they will lose access to this valuable community space. We are asking DCC to work with the local community on the future of the library, maintaining community access. The building has been empty for 2 years and is unheated. Refurbishment works are urgently needed before the Autumn wet weather sets in. The wheelchair access ramp has been fully designed - the tender just needs to be reissued by DCC.
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    Created by Zoe Obeimhen
  • Don't withdraw our Speech and Language Therapy teacher.
    If our Speech and Language Therapy teacher is withdrawn it means that out of 55 children receiving Speech and Language Therapy in the school only 5 will continue to receive it in St Mary's. Parents of special needs children have to fight tooth and nail for any services for their children and to think a service that is having a positive effect on all these children's progression is going to be withdrawn is absolutely disgraceful and unforgivable. We are calling on all our local Councillors and TD's particularly those in Government for support and to use their influence to have this decision reversed.
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    Created by Alan Lawes
  • Theatre for Tramore
    People powered campaigns are the best for delivering for their own communities, join to enrich the culture of our hometown.
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    Created by Una Dunphy
  • Doug Beattie: Don't block progress on Integrated Education
    Doug Beattie, the UUP Leader, said in January that "Northern Ireland has been blighted by division.. and yet we don't take the brave steps to try and deal with that division...we need to end educational apartheid which is taking place here in Northern Ireland." But his party is opposed to the Bill and may join the DUP in using this undemocratic Assembly mechanism to block the Bill. Doug and his party need to rule out using a Petition of Concern to block the Bill.
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    Created by Adam McGibbon
  • Ease Refugees Access to Higher Education
    It can accelerate the process of integration and refugees would stand sooner on their own incomes. It can help Ireland tackle the costs of hosting refugees. Please join this campaign and help Refugees be heard. Many many young talents of refugees must be await for three years to be eligible for state support for third-level education in Ireland.
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    Created by Shoaib Karimi
  • Doug Beattie - keep your promises on Integrated Education
    Right now, the Integrated Education Bill is going through the NI Assembly - but those opposed to integrated education are misleading schools and parents, telling them the Bill will harm existing schools - it won't. The Bill can pass if enough parties support it - and what the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) do will be crucial. Last month, Doug Beattie, the UUP Leader, signalled his support for integrated education and said "Northern Ireland has been blighted by division.. and yet we don't take the brave steps to try and deal with that division...we need to end educational apartheid which is taking place here in Northern Ireland." We need Doug and his MLAs to support the Integrated Education Bill, and resist attempts by the Bill's opponents to sign a "Petition of Concern" - an Assembly motion that would doom the Bill. Write now and tell Doug how you feel!
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    Created by Adam McGibbon
  • Make Integrated Education A Priority
    It's been 40 years since the first integrated school was started here, but in 2022 only 7.5% of schools here are integrated schools - bringing together children from all backgrounds - Catholic, Protestant and other. But there is overwhelming demand: 71% of people here believe our children should be educated together. Stormont has commissioned a new Independent Review of Education that could change everything - but we need you to tell them integrated education matters to you so that they make recommendations to promote integrated education! Now's your chance to speak up! Email the panel members now and tell them that you want to live in a future where all our children are educated together, promoting reconciliation.
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  • Accommodate Immunocompromised Students in IADT
    At the beginning of the year these students signed up to third level education and paid their student contribution fees with the understanding that they could safely and effectively complete their studies for this academic year. The change in accommodation mid-year is discriminatory towards students whos disabilities and illnesses mean they cannot risk in-person attendance while COVID-19 is still a factor.
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    Created by Arthur McKenna
  • End gender segregation in Irish schools
    Please add your signature if want to see a change in attitudes among our young people, if you want to see the equality of genders, and if you care about eliminating aggression and violence against girls, women, and our LGBTQI+ friends.
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    Created by Louise G