The Teachers Union of Ireland says the turnout out at IT Tralee on a ballot on whether to take industrial action is over 80%. The national ballot took place over the last two days, returns are due in by December 10th. It was organised due to concerns around what they say is the under funding of ITs and low staffing levels while student numbers are increasing. Union members at IT Tralee previously rejected the Haddington Road Agreement and want to negotiate alone with the government over pay and conditions, budgets and contracts. The National Executive of TUI is urging a strong yes for industrial action up to and including strike action. Last Thursday as part of the national protest by the Teacher’s Union of Ireland against the cutbacks in education, lecturers and students protested outside the South Campus at the Institute of Technology Tralee. Branch Secretary of TUI at ITT, Anne Marie Courtney says lecturers see first-hand the damage that an era of austerity has wreaked on the education system. She says the austerity measures pursued by the government have taken almost €9 million out of the Institutes budgets between 2008 and 2015.