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Eamon Delaney: Protesting students entitled to take on fat-cat academics

One would usually associate them with supporting any trade union action and opposing any cuts, but this week the national students' body, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), did us all a service by calling for the restrictive Croke Park deal, which protects the public sector, to be renegotiated.

The students cited the seriousness of our economic situation, and the need for a wake-up call for all. But the real clincher is the realisation that, in their own sector, a massive percentage of funding still goes directly to pay for high salaries. As the outgoing USI president, Gary Redmond, put it: the Croke Park Deal shelters the highest paid university staff at the expense of frontline college services such as mental health counselling and career advice. How could such a "deal" be working, when some heads of universities are being paid salaries of up to €450,000 a year?

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