BUILDING EFFECTIVE WORKPLACE RELATIONS IN DIT

08 September 2003

The Dublin Institute of Technology Partnership Committee held a seminar on Monday 8th September to examine the role of Partnership and that of the Partnership Committee in the coming year. The Seminar, which was held in DIT Cathal Brugha Street, was attended by Union representatives, Directors and the members of the Partnership Committee.

The President of DIT Professor Brian Norton, who took up office on 01 September, also attended the seminar and in his address he expressed support for the process and outlined his views on the future of Partnership in the Institute.

Professor Norton said he believed Partnership was about a sense of collegiality, where power is shared and authority vested among colleagues. Ongoing change in the culture of an organisation is required for a climate of transparency and openness. Such a culture can only be achieved where there is mutual trust, and with that trust goes mutual responsibility.

He said that in order to involve all staff in the planning process within DIT, management will need to make information available to staff to ensure they are aware of the Institute's objectives and future plans, and the resources available to achieve them.

Professor Norton went on to state the importance of building trust between all the parties involved and the need for all to have a part in sharing the decision making processes. Recognising staff as a most valuable asset in the Institute he said 'It is my intention to meet widely with staff, to make presentations of my vision for DIT and to invite staff to offer their own views. I intend to ask the people who are doing it how it can be done better!"

The President also said it was most important that we celebrate our achievements in DIT, point to our many successes and in that way foster and encourage initiative.

On the future role of the Partnership Committee Professor Norton underlined the importance of "mainstreaming" partnership to ensure that it is embedded in the structures of the Institute as a way of working.

He expressed support for the recently agreed Management Development programme which will be launched in the near future.

Professor Norton's comments were welcomed by the union representatives present and were seen as very positive for the future. While recognising that the parties will not always agree, they emphasised that such disagreement must not lead to disrespect or exclusion of individuals or groups.

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